Industrial crops provide oils, fiber, or chemicals from leaves, seeds, bark, or roots for income or on-farm use. Plants in our collection are used for edible oil, confection, forage, fiber, fuel oil, or as a pesticide.

  1. Fish Bean Tephrosia vogelii

    Fish Bean

    Fish Bean is native to West Africa, but is now found in India, Asia, and other tropical regions.
  2. Jatropha Jatropha curcas

    Jatropha, Barbados Nut, Physic Nut, Purging Nut

    This drought-tolerant shrub or small tree (up to 6 m/20 ft) originating in Meso America is now cultivated pantropically. It grows under 300-1000 mm annual rainfall and tolerates low soil fertility. The semi-succulent, palmate leaves are deciduous in dry season.
  3. Kenaf Hibiscus cannabinus


    Kenaf was first grown in Africa (western Sudan). Kenaf is a high-yielding and increasingly popular vegetable for the city markets. Contrary to roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), it can be grown near the equator. Prospects for increased Kenaf fiber and pulp production are good in view of growing...
  4. Sesame Sesamum indicum

    Sesame, Sim Sim, Bene, Sesamo, Agonjoli, Benne

    Sesame is an erect, herbaceous, annual, broad-leaved plant, growing to 2.5 m in height. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops and mainly grown as a field crop for the seeds and especially oil extracted from the seeds.
  5. Sunflower Helianthus annuus


    Sunflowers are tall showy, usually yellow flowers grown for their seeds. The flower head is composed of the showy perimeter ray flowers and the inner disc florets which produce the seeds. As well as being an ornamental plant, sunflower seeds are pressed for oil or used whole as a snack food or...
  6. Vernonia Vernonia galamensis

    Vernonia, Ironweed

    This oilseed plant originated from eastern Africa. Vernonia is grown in tropical locations that are within 20º of the equator because better seed is produced from flowers under short day conditions.
  7. Sweet Sorghum Sorghum bicolor

    Sweet Sorghum, Sugar Sorghum, Sorgo, Cane

    Sweet sorghum is an annual plant in the grass family up to 5 m in height. This variety of sorghum is distinguished by the sweet juice contained in the soft pith of the stalk and is mainly grown for syrup and sugar. It may also be planted for forage or silage.
  8. Maize Zea mays

    Maize, Corn, Indian Corn, Sweet Corn

    Maize is an annual, warm-climate crop in the grass family, thriving in open sunny environments with daytime temperatures of 20-24C. Maize is used fresh, frozen, canned, rolled and roasted for corn flakes, pressed for oil, or processed for ethanol as fuel. Maize is also an important feed source...