ECHO Technical Notes TN #20 Selecting the Best Plants for the Tropical Subsistence Farm
By Dr. F. W. Martin. Published in parts, 1989 and 1994; Revised 1998 and 2007 by ECHO Staff
Though nearly all plants are useful in some way, they are not equally valuable. For example, wheat, rice and corn may be considered the most valuable plants in the world based on the vast acreage planted to these crops, their vital role in feeding humankind, and their enormous economic value. Using various criteria, one might consider 10, 25, or even 200 species as the world’s most valuable plants. Yet, under some situations, by some people, or for some special reason, other plants produced and used on a very small scale might be precious and indispensable. The question, “Which are the most valuable plants for the small farm?”, then, becomes breathtaking.