Utilization of indigenous vegetables for sustainable vegetable production in bangladesh




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UTILIZATION OF INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES FOR SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN BANGLADESH

M. Saifullah1, M. A. Goffar1, S. Ahmad2 and M.A.J. Bhuyan3
1 Senior Scientific Officer, 2 Principal Scientific Officer and 3 Director, Horticulture Research Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Joydebpur, Gazipur, Bangladesh. Tel. 8801712722504 Fax. 88029252713, 88029261493, Email: saifhrc@yahoo.com

Key words: Indigenous, vegetables, sustainable, production, Bangladesh
Abstract
Indigenous vegetables provide essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are absent in cereals and play important role for sustainable vegetable production. A wide range of vegetables are being grown in Bangladesh. Attempts have been made to collect germplasm of indigenous vegetables from different parts of the country and study their characters, yield performance and quality at Horticulture Research Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) for the last few years. About 98 kinds of vegetables are grown in Bangladesh. Among them 45 vegetables are reported as indigenous and 20 are classified as major and 25 as minor indigenous vegetables. Most of these indigenous vegetables are grown in summer. Among the indigenous vegetables brinjal or eggplant, okra, some gourds and hyacinth bean have maximum attention while others have limited cultivation. Volunteer plants or weeds are being cultivated in different habitats in a very limited scale as minor indigenous vegetables. Farmers grow indigenous vegetables using different local cultivar/varieties according to their choice. The number of local varieties varies with the type of vegetables. Recently, BARI has developed varieties of some major indigenous vegetables like, eggplant, pointed gourd, wax gourd, bitter gourd, hyacinth bean, amaranth and okra. Indigenous vegetable contributed 52% of the total vegetable production of the country. BARI already collected 3150 accessions of different indigenous vegetables. There exists high genetic diversity of different indigenous vegetables in respect of morphological, quantitative and qualitative characters.

Introduction
Bangladesh is an important country of South Asia lying between 20.340 and 26.380 North latitude and between 88.010 and 92.410 East longitudes. It is surrounded by India in the North and West, South by Bay of Bengal and East by India and Myanmar. The country has a total area of 147570 km2 with a population of about 150 million. The country is small but has diverse ecosystems like hills, plains, coastal and wet lands. The country enjoys tropical to sub-tropical climate. In winter temperature ranges from minimum of 70C to 140C to maximum of 240C to 300C. The maximum temperature recorded in summer months is 380C although in some places this occasionally rises up to 400C or more. Average rainfall varies from 1429 mm in the North and North-West to 4338 mm in the East and South-East. Agriculture is predominant with a cropped area of 8.23 million hectare and 197% cropping intensity. Agro-ecology of the country is divided into 30 AEZs. High and medium high lands are mostly suitable for vegetable production. The South Asian region is the centre of diversification for several crop plants including vegetables (Arora, 1995). So far, 98 vegetable crops are reported to be grown in Bangladesh (Hossain, 1998). However, this figure is likely to increase with further exploration in different parts of the country especially taking into consideration the vegetable consumption pattern of different tribal people like Chakma, Marma, Khashia, Garo and Shawtal.

Bangladesh is deficient in food as well as in nutrition. It has been reported that about 40% people suffer from vitamin-A and 91% from vitamin-C, while 30% lack of sufficient minerals viz. calcium, iron and phosphorus. Incidence of infant mortality and health problem in growing children and pregnant women are also high due to micro-nutrient and vitamins deficiency (Bhuyan and Uddin, 2010). There is a big gap between the vegetable productions estimated at about 2.90 million MT and the national requirement estimated at about 11.00 million MT (BBS, 2009). This is likely to expand further with the increase in population. The consumption of vegetable per head per day is only 53g as against the minimum requirement of 220g per head per day which indicates that the present production can meet only 25% of requirement. However, there is an increasing trend of vegetable production in recent years. The area under vegetable increased from 0.185 million hectare to 0.356 million hectare during the period from 1994-95 to 2008-2009. The average yield of vegetable in Bangladesh is about 8.16t/ha (BBS, 2009). The low productivity is mainly due to lack of improved varieties, disease and pest infestation, environmental stress and traditional cultivation procedure. Varieties/cultivar with desired traits is needed to overcome these problems. Meanwhile, there have been some attempts to collect and conserved germplasm of some important indigenous vegetables in Bangladesh. Very few indigenous vegetable got attention but most of the indigenous vegetables have not yet got their due importance in crop improvement programs. Hence, much remains to be done. Germplasm must be collected, evaluated, conservation, utilization and used to improve yield and quality for sustainable development in vegetable production.



INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES

Indigenous means native to a country or region. Accordingly, the vegetables originated either in Bangladesh or other parts of South Asia are classified as indigenous vegetables. These vegetables were identified after reviewing different references (Arora, 1995; Bose and Som, 1986; Rashid, 1993; Siemonsma and Piluek, 1994; Whitaker and Davis, 1962; Yamaguchi, 1983, Hossain and Razzaque, 1999, Rashid et al., 2006). Considering extent of larger cultivation and consumption 20 vegetables are grouped as major indigenous vegetables in Bangladesh (Table 1).


Table 1. List of major indigenous vegetables

Sl. No.

English name

Local name

Scientific name

Family

1.

Brinjal

Begun

Solanum melongena

Solanaceae

2

Wax gourd

Chalkumra

Benincasa hispida

Cucurbitaceae

3.

Pointed gourd

Patal

Trichosanthes dioica

Cucurbitaceae

4.

Ribbed gourd

Jhinga

Luffa acutagula

Cucurbitaceae

5.

Sponge gourd

Dhundul

Luffa cylindrica

Cucurbitaceae

6.

Snake gourd

Chichinga

Trichosanthes anguina

Cucurbitaceae

7.

Teasle gourd

Kakrol

Momordica dioica

Cucurbitaceae

8.

Bitter gourd

Korola

Momordica charantia

Cucurbitaceae

9.

Cucumber

Shasha

Cucumis sativus

Cucurbitaceae

10.

Hyacinth bean

Sheem

Lablab niger

Leguminaceae

11.

Okra

Dherosh

Abelmoschus esculentus

Malvaceae

12.

Indian spinach

Puishak

Basella spp

Basellaceae

13.

Water spinach

Kalmi

Ipomoea aquatica

Convolvulaceae

14.

Mustard green

Sarishasak

Brassica spp

Cruciferae

15.

Stem amaranth

Danta

Amaranthus lividus

Amaranthaceae

16.

Red amaranth

Lalsak

Amaranthus gangeticus

Amaranthaceae

17.

Jute leaf

Patsak

Corchorus spp

Tiliaceae

18.

Taro

Kachu

Colocasia spp

Araceae

19.

Plantain

Kanchkala

Musa paradisiaca

Musaceae

20.

Drumstick

Sajina

Moringa oleifera

Moringaceae

The indigenous vegetables those have limited cultivation and consumption are grown in the habitats or weeds are classified as minor or underutilized indigenous vegetables (Table 2).



Table 2. List of minor indigenous vegetables

Sl. No.

English name

Local name

Scientific name

Family

1.

Winged bean

Kamranga sheem

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Leguminaceae

2.

Sword bean

Makhan sheem

Canavalia ensiformis

Leguminaceae

3.

Lima bean

Rukuri

Phaseolus limensis

Leguminaceae

4.

Yam bean

Sakalu

Pachyrrhizus tuberosa

Leguminaceae

5.

Cucumber (short)

Khira

Cucumis anguina

Cucurbitaceae

6.

Ivy gourd

Talakuchi

Coccinia grandis

Cucurbitaceae

7.

Tripatri leaves

Tripatrishak

Desmodium trifolium

Leguminaceae

8.

Spiny amaranth

Katanotey

Amaranthus spinosus

Amaranthaceae

9.

Leaf amaranth

Shaknotey

Amaranthus viridis

Amaranthaceae

10.

Haicha

Chanchi

Alternanthera sessilis

Amaranthaceae

11.

Goose foot

Bathua

Chenopodium album

Chenopodiaceae

12.

Marsh herb

Helencha

Enhydra fluctuans

Compositeae

13.

Indian penny wort

Thankuni

Centella asiatica

Umbelliferae

14.

Sorrel

Tak palang

Rumex vesicarius

Polygonaceae

15.

Malencha

Malencha

Jussiaea repens

Onagraceae

16.

Wood sorrel

Amrulshak

Oxalis corniculata

Oxalidaceae

17.

Garden purslane

Nunia

Portulaca oleracea

Portulacaceae

18.

Laffa

Laffa

Malva verticillata

Malvaceae

19.

Fern

Dhekishak

Dryopteris filix-mas

Polypodiaceae

20.

Water cress

Shachi

Nasturtium officinale

Cruciferae

21.

Tannia

Moulavikachu

Xanthosoma atrovirens

Araceae

22.

White yam

Matey alu

Dioscorea alata

Dioscoreaceae

23.

Water plantain

Shamkala

Ottelia alismoides

Hydrocharitaceae

24.

Lotus

Padma

Nelumbo nucifera

Nymphaeaceae

25.

Water lily

Shapla

Nymphaea nouchali

Nymphaeaceae



Research and Development on Indigenous Vegetables

Olericulture Division, Horticulture Research Centre (HRC), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) is mainly mandated for doing research on vegetable crops. However, agricultural universities of the country are also doing research on vegetables especially for academic purposes. A brief account of research and development conducted by BARI on indigenous vegetables are discussed below.



Major Indigenous Vegetables
Brinjal (Solanum melongena): Brinjal is the major vegetable in Bangladesh grown all over the country. Indian Sub-continent is the centre of origin of brinjal and there exist diversification in respect of size, shape, colour, growing season etc. BARI has developed 10 brinjal varieties including two hybrids.

1. BARI Begun-1: High yielding, cluster type brinjal variety, prolific bearer, 80-90 fruits/plant, fruit length 18-20 cm, fruit weight 55-60g, yield is about 50 t/ha.


2. BARI Begun-2(Hybrid): Oblong shaped fruits with shiny deep purple colour, number of fruits per plant 60-70, individual fruit weight 125-150g , yield is about 60 t/ha.
3. BARI Begun-3(hybrid): Fruits are long, cylindrical, purple colour, 100-110 fruits/plant.Yield is about 65 t/ha.

4. BARI Begun-4: Fruit shape oblong, shiny blackish purple colour. Number of fruits/plant is about 70-80, single fruit weight is about 55-65 g. Fruit yield is 60 t/ha.


5. BARI Begun-5: Early bearer and fruits are round with shiny deep purple colour. Average fruit weight 120-150g and number of fruits per plant 10-15, yield is about 40-45 t/ha.
6. BARI Begun-6: Number of fruits per plant 15-17, fruit weight 225-250g, fruit are light green, round shape, tolerant to Bacterial wilt and Jassid, yield is about 45-50 t/ha.
7. BARI Begun-7: Number of fruits per plant 30-35, fruit weight 80-90g, fruit is deep purple long cylindrical, tolerant to bacterial wilt. Yield is about 40 t/ha.
8. BARI Begun-8: Number of fruits per plant 30-40, suitable for growing in summer, fruit weight 70-80g, fruit is deep purple, shape is long cylindrical, resistant to bacterial wilt. Yield is about 40-50 t/ha.
9. BARI Begun-9: Ovoid shaped fruits, shiny deep green fruit skin with white dotted stripe from the tip, 35-40 fruits/plant, average fruit weight 90-110g.Yield is about 50-55 t/ha.
10. BARI Begun-10: Heat tolerant, suitable for growing round the year, long cylindrical shaped fruits having round tip, attractive shiny deep brick purple fruit skin colour, plants moderately resistant to bacterial wilt, nematodes, aphid and jassid. Yield is about 50-55t/ha.
Hyacinth Bean (Lablab niger): About 212 germplasm have already been collected from home and abroad.

BARI have developed and released five varieties.


1. BARI Sheem-1: Pods are fleshy and soft, early bearer, number of pods/plant 450-500, tolerant to virus. Yield is 20-22t/ha.
2. BARI Sheem-2: Pods are fleshy and soft, first harvest begins from third week of October, number of pods/plant 350-400. Tolerant to virus diseases. Yield is 11-12t/ha.
3. BARI Sheem-3: Number of pods per plant 250-275, deep green flat wide pod. It can be grown round the year. Yield is 9-10t/ha.
4. BARI Sheem-4: Pods are borne in cluster (6-12 pods/cluster), 280-300pods/plant.Pods are cylindrical, soft, fleshy, less fibrous, long and narrow. Pods are “Noldoc” type (sickle shaped), bold seeded with attractive. Yield is 15-18t/ha.
5. BARI Sheem-5: Dwarf (35-45cm) plant height. It can be grown without trellis. Number of pods/plant is 50-60. Pods are soft and fleshy. Short duration crop (50-60 days).Yield is 12-14t/ha.
Pointed Gourd (Trichosanthes dioica): Forty germplasm have been collected from across the country. Through evaluation and selection two high yielding varieties have been developed and released.
1. BARI Patal-1: Light green fruit with 10-11 white stripe, fruit length 11-12 cm, average fruit weight 25-30g. Number of fruit per plant is around 240. Yield is 30 t/ha.
2. BARI Patal-2: Deep green fruit colour with 9-10 light green stripes. Fruit length 9-10 cm. Average fruit weight 35-40g.Number of fruits per plant 300-350, yield is about 35 t/ha.

Stem Amaranth (Amaranthus lividus): About 208 germplasm have been collected and evaluated and two varieties have been developed and released.
1. BARI Danta-1: Stem is light purple, soft, less fibrous and erect. Dominant purple at the ventral and dark green at dorsal side of leaf, edible maturity attains within 40-45 days after sowing. Yield is about 35-40 t/ha.

2. BARI Danta-2: Lower 2/3rd portion of stem is light purple and the rest upper part is green. Leaves are green, very quick growing vegetables. Yield is around 30-32 t/ha.


Ribbed Gourd (Luffa acutangula): One hundred and one germplasm have been collected. Through selection one variety has been developed and one will be released very soon.
1. BARI Jhinga-1: Attractive deep green in colour, large elongated fruit with well defined ridge.

Average marketable fruit weight 125 g. Yield is 25 t/ha.


Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus): One hundred seventy five accessions have been collected and one variety is developed.
1. BARI Dherosh-1: Tolerant to yellow vein mosaic virus. Plants are indeterminate, erect having 2-3 branches. Fruits are green with 5 marked ridges and 8-10 cm long at edible stage. Each plant produces 30-35 fruits. Yield is about 14-18 t/ha.
Bitter gourd (Momodica charantia): One hundred and forty germplasm have been collected from home and abroad. One variety named BARI Korola-1 has been released.
1. BARI Korola-1: Deep green fruit color. Average fruit weight 100g. Number of fruits per plant is 30-35. Fruit length 17-18cm. Yield is about 25-30 t/ha.
Wax gourd (Benincasa hispida): Two hundred and five germplasm have been collected and evaluated, one variety is developed and released.
1. BARI Chalkumra-1: Light green fruit. Fruit length 18-20 cm. Average edible fruit weight 1.0 to 1.5 kg. Number of fruits per plant is 10-12. Yield is 25-30 t/ha.

Red Amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus):Thirty five accessions have been collected and one variety is developed through selection.
1. BARI Lalsak-1: Very quick growing leafy amaranth. Leaf is dark red and soft. It becomes harvestable within 30 days. Yield is 12-14 t/ha.
Underutilized Indigenous Vegetables

Indigenous vegetables which have limited cultivation and those are grown in particular habitat as volunteer plants or weeds with other crops are classified as underutilized or minor indigenous vegetables. Since ancient time many minor indigenous vegetables are widely grown in Bangladesh as weeds. Many weeds in the world are edible as vegetables. The weed survey in Bangladesh has indicated that out of 95 species of weeds, 19 species are widely consumed as vegetable throughout the country. BARI evaluated some underutilized vegetables at the Central Research Station, Joydebpur, Gazipur (Table 3).


Table 3. Yield and yield contributing characters of some underutilized indigenous leafy vegetables


Popular name with

Scientific name

Days to

harvest

Plant wt. (g)

Plant height (g)

Dry matter

content (%)

Yield (t/ha)

Bathua (Green) (Chenopodium album)

30

34.65

38.30

10.46

9.66

Bathua (Red) (Chenopodium album)

30

36.20

44.60

9.55

10.37

Shaknotey(Amaranthus viridis )

45

120.00

45.00

11.60

1.49

Thankuni(Centella asiatica)

75

18.60

32.80

16.87

19.95

Nunia(Purtulaca oleraceae)

60

115.32

31.10

9.80

17.88

Malancha(Jussiaea repens )

60

30.20

41.80

10.70

5.86

Tak palang(Rumex vesicarious)

45

98.42

25.90

8.80

15.90

Laffa shak(Malva verticillata)

30

29.40

33.50

12.70

17.73

Pat shak(Corchorus spp)

40

33.05

19.70

12.00

14.76

Raisak(Brassica spp)

30

32.20

18.60

7.34

9.37

Helencha(Enhydra fluctuans )

60

343.60

26.00

11.64

7.60

It is revealed from the overall results that the yield performances of some of these species are quite high and encouraging and there is a great scope for monoculture. However, there should be some research on production potentials of these vegetables as commercial cultivation.



Conservation of indigenous vegetables

One of the mandates of BARI is the improvement of vegetable crops. So, the BARI is the leading institute to collect, evaluate, document and conserve the germplasm of both local and exotic vegetables. The scientists of Plant Genetic Resources Centre (PGRC) and Olericulture Division of Horticulture Research Centre (HRC), BARI play key role for those activities. PGRC has the medium (4-60c) and long term (-200c) storage capacity of 60m3 and 40m3, respectively. These storage facilities are being utilized for the conservation of all the mandated crops of BARI. Olericulture Division of HRC, BARI has a small refrigerated (7-100c) facility (20m3) for storage of working germplasm and breeder seeds of released varieties of vegetables. BARI has farms at different regions which are utilized as field gene banks of perennial plants of fruits and vegetables. At present, BARI has limited germplasm of some indigenous vegetables viz. Brinjal 350, Pointed gourd 40, Ribbed gourd 101, Sponge gourd 95, Snake gourd 73, Wax gourd 205, Teasle gourd 50, Bitter gourd 140, Cucumber 201, Hyacinth bean 212, Indian spinach 40, Water spinach 30, Mustard green 110, Stem amaranth 208, Red amaranth 35, Drumstick 30, Taro 110, Plantain 45 and Okra 175 accessions.



Utilization of indigenous vegetables
Different plant parts of indigenous vegetables such as leaf, stem, flower, tuber, fruit, etc are consumed as vegetables. Edible parts of these vegetables vary with the plant species. Some vegetable plant species have different uses like cosmetics, medicine, animal feed and soil improvement crop. The uses of indigenous vegetables (Ghani, 1998; Siemonsme and Piluek, 1994; Hossain and Razzaque, 1998) are presented in table 4.
Table 4. Edible part and uses of some indigenous vegetables


Vegetable

Edible part

Uses


Brinjal

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine, pickle, dried plant as fuel

Pointed gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Ribbed gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Sponge gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine, bath sponge

Snake gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Wax gourd

Leaf, shoot, fruit

Vegetable, medicine, preserved candy and fruit

Teasle gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Bitter gourd

Fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Cucumber

Fruit

Curry, salad, pickle, medicine

Hyacinth bean

Pod and dry seed

Mature green pod and seed as vegetable, dry seed as pulse, plant as animal feed, soil improvement crop

Sword Bean

Pod, seed

Vegetable, medicine

Winged bean

Pod, seed, tuberous root

Vegetable, medicine,snack food

Indian spinach

Leaf and shoot

Vegetable, medicine, mature seed as coloring agent

Stem amaranth

Leaf and shoot

Vegetable, medicine, livestock feed

Red amaranth

Leaf and stem

Vegetable, medicine

Drumstick

Leaf, flower and fruit

Vegetable, medicine

Taro

Leaf, stem and root

Vegetable, medicine

Plantain

Fruit, flower (top of inflorescence) and central part of stem

Vegetable, medicine, livestock feed, leaf as wrapping material

Water lily

Modified root, stem and seed

Root, stem as vegetable, seed fried as puff, ornamental plant, medicine

Lotus

Rhizome and seed

Rhizome as vegetable, seed as processed product, ornamental plant, leaf as wrapping material.

Among the indigenous vegetables, brinjal, hyacinth bean, okra, amaranths, some gourds, and Indian spinach had maximum attention while others had little or none in crop improvement programs. BARI provides thrust to collect different indigenous vegetable germplasm from the whole country. Meanwhile, BARI has developed 8 OP varieties and 2 hybrids of brinjal, 5 varieties of hyacinth bean, 2 pointed gourd, 2 danta, 1 ribbed gourd, 1 okra, 1 bitter gourd, 1 wax gourd, 1 red amaranth utilizing local germplasm. BARI already collected 3150 accessions of different indigenous vegetables. There exists high genetic diversity of different indigenous vegetables. Some advanced lines are in the pipeline and will be released as new varieties within a couple of years. Emphasis has been given on resistance breeding against different biotic and abiotic stress. Collaborative program have been taken between horticulturists, breeders, entomologists and plant pathologists. We are also looking for genetic materials to develop high yielding varieties of different major, minor or underutilized indigenous vegetables with desire traits.



CONCLUSION

There is a tremendous scope to increase the yield as well as quality of indigenous vegetable through technological advancement. Increased indigenous vegetable production and consumption will prevent the incidence of mal-nutritional disorders, generate more income to the farmers and vegetable traders. Due emphasis has been given on indigenous vegetables. Thus the indigenous vegetables have the vital role for nutritional, financial, food security and sustainable development of the peoples of Bangladesh.

LITERATURE CITED
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Rashid, M.A., Rahman. M.T., Hossain, M.S. and Rahman, M.M. 2006. Indigenous vegetables of Bangladesh. Paper presented first International conference on Indigenous Vegetables and Legumes, December 12-15, ICRISAT Campus, Hydrabad, India.


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