English (en) | Change Language

Underutilized crops are often indigenous ancient crop species which are still used at some level within the local, national or even international communities, but have the potential to contribute further to the mix of food sources than they currently do.



  1. Key Resource
    1983-01-01 Amaranth [Amaranthus hypochondriacus, A. cruentus(grain type) &A. tricolor(vegetable type)] is an herbaceous annual with upright growth habit, cultivated for both its seeds which are used as a grain and its leaves which are used as a vegetable or green. Both leaves and seeds contain protein...
  2. 1984-01-19 Leucaena leucocephala ("koa haole"-Hawaii; ipil ipil - Phillipines) is a fast-growing, leguminous tree that can be used for reforestation, for firewood, and as a forage crop that can equal alfalfa in nutritional value. There are three basic types of leucaena trees: Hawaiian, Salvador, and Peru....
  3. Key Resource
    1984-04-20 This Technical Note (TN) was published in the early 80's when there were relatively few sources of information on, or seed for, the neem tree. In recent years much progress has been made in each of these areas. The information contained in this Technical Noteis still quite valuable. A good source...
  4. Key Resource 1985-06-01 Frank Martin states in Survival and Subsistence in the Tropics that “among the leafy vegetables, one stands out as particularly good, the horseradish tree. The leaves are outstanding as a source of vitamin A and, when raw, vitamin C. They are a good source of B vitamins and among the best plant...
  5. Key Resource 1990-01-01 I often tell folks that ECHO specializes in growing food under difficult conditions. The pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan, is a prime example of a tough but nutritious plant for just such cases. This article is directed toward two audiences. For some of you, pigeon pea is already an important crop. You...
  6. 1998-04-01 Traditionally the people of Sri Lanka consume vegetable cooked as curries with the dietary staple, rice. Legumes, in general, play a vital role in Sri Lankan diets and they are being consumed as green vegetables or pulses. Edible legumes are excellent sources of dietary protein and oil....
  7. Key Resource
    1998-06-01 There are more than one hundred major species of fruits in the tropics, which make a very interesting contribution to the appetite as well as to good nutrition. These species vary in ecological requirements, in season of production, in yields, uses and, of course, in many other characteristics....
  8. 1998-11-01 In West Africa, the name Egusi is applied to members of the gourd family having seeds of high oil content. Egusi Melon plants closely resemble watermelon plants; both have a non climbing creeping habit and deeply cut lobed leaves. The pulp of the watermelon fruit, however, is sweet and edible...
  9. 1999-01-01 The cashew, Anacardium occidentale, is a resilient and fast-growing evergreen tree that can grow to a height of 20 m (60 ft). It belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, which also contains poison ivy and the mango. Native to arid northeastern Brazil, the cashew was taken around the world by the...
  10. 1998-10-01 Jícama (Pachyrhizus erosus) of the fabaceae or leguminosae family is a short-lived perennial, often grown as an annual leguminous climbing vine, which during short days will flower, produce long, inedible pods, and develop tuberous roots. These are few in number per plant, usually spherical, but...
  11. Key Resource 2005-01-20 The leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree are very nutritious. They can be consumed fresh, cooked or dried. Since dried Moringaleaves retain their nutrient content, it is possible to convert them into leaf powder. When there is an abundance of leaves, this leaf powder can be made and stored easily....
  12. 2005-03-01 In addition to food, shelter and clothing, water is one of our basic human needs and lack of potable water is a major cause of death and disease in our world. The purpose of this document is to provide information on household water treatment using seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree. Using...
  13. Key Resource 2006-01-01 Dr. Martin Price, co-founder of ECHO and former head of ECHO’s Agricultural Resources Department, has said, “I would consider chaya to be one of the five most important underutilized food plants ECHO distributes. I give it this rank because of its ability to thrive in both arid and rainy regions,...
  14. 2007-01-01 In a world where hunger and poverty are issues with a large percentage of the population, technology and education are wanting, and agricultural resources are often scarce, a farmer is thankful for low-maintenance crops that will grow with a minimal input of effort and resources. Lagos spinach...
  15. Key Resource
    2010-06-01 Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued...
  16. Key Resource 2011-01-20 Over the past 30 plus years that we have been working with small-scale farmers in Central Africa, we have enjoyed the wonderful lushness of its forests, savannahs, and rivers. In addition, we have been privileged to get to know some of the many people groups, with their different cultures and...
  17. Key Resource
    2013-01-20 About 98% of agricultural production in the Sudano Sahelian region of West and Central Africa is based on rainfed crops. With a mean annual rainfall of 300 to 800 mm/year, the number of staple crops is very limited. It includes two grain crops: pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) for sandy soils...