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  1. A wide variety of plants can be used as pasture and forage crops in the tropics. Of these, a few are particularly important due to their wide adaptability, ease of growth, high yield potential, and high nutritional value. Most of these are either grasses or legumes. The majority of the grasses...
     
  2. Immature legume pods and green seed are used as vegetables. Green pods contain good quantities of fiber and most nutrients, especially protein, vitamins and minerals, but minimal oil and carbohydrates. Immature seed contains similar nutrients to mature seed but are higher in vitamins A and C and...
     
  3. Grain crops produce edible,dry seeds, which can be stored for long periods of time. True cereal grains are members of the grass family. Other grain-like crops are called pseudo-cereals. Most grains are good sources of protein, carbohydrates, and B vitamins. Cultivars vary widely in their seasonal...
     
  4. Root and tuber crops contain large amounts of starch, which is their chief contribution to the diet. Perennials generally contribute some protein to the diet as well as starch, though this varies among species. Many roots and tubers contain toxic substances or anti-nutritional substances and must...
     
  5. Pulses are legumes that produce seed for human consumption. They are harvested when dry, and then cooked, usually requiring long soaks in cooking liquid. They are high in carbohydrates, B vitamins, and protein--often able to serve as meat substitutes in the diet. Oil content of pulses varies...
     
  6. Leafy vegetables are good sources of dietary fiber, vitamins (A, C, and B-complex), and minerals (especially calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus). Dark green leaves are generally more nutritious than lighter green or yellow leaves. Some leafy vegetables contain anti-nutritive substances such...
     
  7. Agroforestry is the practice of combining the management of annual crops and/or animals with trees. Agroforestry systems, largely composed of perennial crops, offer the resilience needed to address extreme climatic issues such as drought and torrential rain, along with social and economic factors...
     
  8. These annual vegetable crops are vining, climbing, or bushy succulent plants. The fruits are grown for eating, oil processing, or containers. Fruits are harvested before seed maturation for fresh consumption. Varieties used for oil are harvested when the fruits are fully mature and the vine stem...
     
  9. Tropical fruit trees provide a reliable source of food, often during times of the year when food is scarce. Once established, trees can bear fruit even as environmental conditions fluctuate drastically and thus contribute to farm resiliency. Fruit trees, once established, require less labor than...
     
  10. Vegetables are plants, or parts of plants, that are used for human consumption. These may be grown for their leaves, stems, roots, flowers, buds, immature seeds, seed pods, or fruits. We have listed “Leafy Vegetables” and “Cucurbits” separately from Garden Vegetables because of their distinctive...