Cultivation of jute (Corchorus olitorius L.) for edible leaf in Nigeria

Malachy O. Akoroda

Abstract


Jute (Corchorus olitorius) belongs to the family Tiliaceae. Though mostly known for its fibre (Tossa jute), it is grown in Nigeria and many tropical countries for its nutritious young leaves which in SW Nigeria are cooked into a paste and eaten with starchy staples. Immature fruits, called 'Bush Okra', are also eaten. The plant thrives in sunny spots on soils rich in organic matter and with abundant moisture. Propagation is by seed and dormancy is broken by briefly steeping in hot water. Pests are mainly caterpillars and mites that feed on leaves, and Meloidogyne nematodes which greatly reduce yields; but diseases are few and not serious. Current emphases of breeding plants are for early varieties with high harvest index.

Keywords


Jute; Vegetable jute; Corchorus olitorius-, Nigeria

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