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, its little need for care or extra fertility, its lack of insect or disease pests, its high production per square foot, and the exceptional nutritional value of its cooked leaves.”
Frank Martin, Ruth Ruberté, and Laura Meitzner agreed; in their book Edible Leaves of the Tropics, they wrote, “As a year-round source of high-quality food in a wide range of conditions, it is one of the most important edible-leaved plants for the tropics.”
And in an article in Economic Botany 56(4), “The Ethnobotany of Chaya,” Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra and Alvaro Molina-Cruz concluded, “Its high nutritive value, ease of propagation, productivity, tolerance of poor growth conditions, and resistance to pests and disease all make chaya a valuable potential crop that could benefit peoples of many different regions.”
Cite this article as:
Berkelaar, D. 2006. Chaya. ECHO Technical Note no. 53.