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Some Important Fruit Trees and Shrubs of Hot Arid Regions of Rajasthan State in India, Their Uses and Nutritive Values

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The wild plants assume significance as alternative food sources, predominantly in the areas receiving frequent droughts and famine. In many Indian states, majority of forest dwellers depend on forests for their annual food requirements. Cordia myxa, Zizyphus mauritiana, Salvadora oleoides are some of the important fruit bearing plant species found in hot arid region in India that provide food supplement and means of survival during time of hardships. Rural people in Rajasthan state of India have extensive knowledge about use of famine foods. The fruits of many plants are rich sources of protein and energy. For example, Ziziphus mauritiana is richer than apple in protein, phosphorous, calcium, carotene and vitamin C. However, they are often undervalued and underutilized. This article highlights the importance of some of these plants, their various end uses and nutritive values of their seeds and fruits.
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Citation: Tewari VP. Some Important Fruit Trees and Shrubs of Hot Arid Regions of Rajasthan State in India,
Their Uses and Nutritive Values. J Plant Chem and Ecophysiol. 2016; 1(1): 1004.
J Plant Chem and Ecophysiol - Volume 1 Issue 1 - 2016
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Tewari. © All rights are reserved
Journal of Plant Chemistry and
Ecophysiology
Open Access
Abstract
The wild plants assume signicance as alternative food sources,
predominantly in the areas receiving frequent droughts and famine. In many
Indian states, majority of forest dwellers depend on forests for their annual
food requirements. Cordia myxa, Zizyphus mauritiana, Salvadora oleoides are
some of the important fruit bearing plant species found in hot arid region in India
that provide food supplement and means of survival during time of hardships.
Rural people in Rajasthan state of India have extensive knowledge about use of
famine foods. The fruits of many plants are rich sources of protein and energy.
For example, Ziziphus mauritiana is richer than apple in protein, phosphorous,
calcium, carotene and vitamin C. However, they are often undervalued and
underutilized. This article highlights the importance of some of these plants,
their various end uses and nutritive values of their seeds and fruits.
Keywords: Alternative food plants; Nutritive values; Arid region; Rajasthan;
India
consumed as fruits, 26 percent as leaves, 16 percent as rhizomes and
5 percent as the entire plant [2].
e importance of wild plants in subsistence agriculture in the
developing world as a food supplement and as a means of survival
during times of drought and famine has been overlooked. Generally,
the consumption of these ‘alternative-food’ has been under-estimated
[3]. Rural people in India are endowed with a deep knowledge
concerning the use of alternative plants when the staple food is in
short supply and alternative food consumption is still very common
in rural areas in Rajasthan.
ere are about 30 plant species in arid zone known for their
edible use and of these about 20 plant species are known for their
edible fruits either raw or use as vegetable [4]. However, they are
oen undervalued and underutilized.
e objective of this article is to briey summarize the information
about the important and underutilized fruit bearing species from arid
region of Rajasthan with reference to their uses and nutritional values.
Introduction
Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) are goods of biological
origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land
and trees outside forests. Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP),
another term frequently used to cover this vast array of animal and
plant products, also include small wood and fuel wood [1]. NWFPs
constitute an integral component of food for the communities
dependent on forests. e role of NWFPs becomes more signicant
for less agriculture-dependent communities with small landholdings
residing in remote forest villages.
Since time immemorial people have been dependent on the
forests for various valuable biological resources such as timber, fuel
wood, food resources, medicines and other extracts, many of which
have no replacement by modern cultivation options. NWFPs play
an important biological and social role in local food systems for the
people living in and around forests as they depend heavily on forest
resources to meet their day-to-day requirements. e communities
living in the close vicinity of forests are especially dependent for their
livelihood needs and food security. NWFPs are most extensively used
to meet dietary shortfalls and to supplement the household income
during particularly lean seasons.
Many agricultural communities suer from seasonal food
shortages, generally known as “hunger periods”. ese commonly
occur at the time of the year when stored food supplies have
dwindled and new crops are only just arriving. During this period the
consumption of NWFPs increases. In many Indian states, especially
Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, 80 percent of
forest dwellers depend on forests for 25 to 50 percent of their annual
food requirements. Out of the total NWFPs consumed, 49 percent are
Review Article
Some Important Fruit Trees and Shrubs of Hot Arid
Regions of Rajasthan State in India, Their Uses and
Nutritive Values
Tewari VP*
Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla, India
*Corresponding author: V.P. Tewari, Himalayan
Forest Research Institute, Shimla, India
Received: February 16, 2016; Accepted: April 12, 2016;
Published: April 13, 2016
Figure 1: Map of Rajasthan (study area) and its location in India.
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Methodology
e information presented in this article was collected from
literature review and interactions with the local people including
women during eld visits and surveys in arid districts of Rajasthan
(Figure 1). e plant species were identied with the help of plant
taxonomist and herbarium sheets. No independent lab work was
done to determine nutritional value. e nutritional values reported
in this paper (Table 1) have been taken from already published papers
and, accordingly, references have been cited.
Some Important Underutilized Fruit Bearing Trees and
Shrubs of Hot Arid Region of Rajasthan State in India
Balanites aegyptiaca (Linn.) Del.: e species belongs to family
‘Zygophyllaceae’. It is distributed in open sandy plains of Pali and
Jodhpur districts. It is a slow growing, small, not very spreading,
spiny and medium size tree or shrub (Figure 2). Its edible Parts are
Fruit, Young shoots and leaves. Yield is 100 to 150 fruits/mature tree.
Flowering is observed during December-March while fruiting is in
March-July.
Ripe fruits are eaten raw/sun-dried and stored like dates, made
into sweetmeats or fruit juice (mixed with water) and mixed with
cereals, or fermented to alcoholic beverages. Young shoots and leaves
are used as vegetable, added to soups, melon seeds/peanut pastes
and used as a relish. Nutritional value of the fruits is [5]: Protein
(4.9%), carbohydrate (69.9%), sugar (34.9%), fat (0.1%), bre (3.5%),
vitamin B2 (0.07mg/100g), vitamin C (46mg/100g), phosphorous
(58mg/100g), calcium (147mg/100g), iron (4mg/100g) and energy
(300.1Kcal/100g).
Calligonum polygonoides Linn.: It is a member of family
‘Polygonaceae’. It is a typical sand dune plant, found in whole of
arid zone viz., Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaiselmer. It is a rigid, much
branched, leaess shrub. Its edible Parts are owers. Flower buds
abort and drop o in substantial quantities in May which are
collected. e ower buds are used as salad with curd (Raita) or fried
and eaten. Flowering and fruiting is in April-May. Unripe fruits of
C. polygonoides have a vast nutritive value [6] such as protein (18%),
carbohydrate (71.1%), sugar (46%), fat (64%), ber (9.1%), Vitamin
B2 (0.7mg/100g), calcium (670mg/100g), phosphorus (420mg/100g)
and iron (12.7mg/100g).
Cordia myxa Roxb.: Cordia myxa (family Boraginaceae) is
widely distributed in arid zone, mostly cultivated. It is a small to
moderate-sized deciduous tree with a short bole and spreading
dense crown (Figure. 3). Edible Parts are Fruit and Flowers. Fruits
are harvested at tender green immature stage for vegetable and are
also used in pickles. Ripe fruits are also consumed. e oral buds
and owers are cooked as vegetable. Nutritional value of fruits
is [7,8]: Protein (2%), carbohydrates (92%), fat (2%), bre (2%),
phosphorous (275mg/100g), calcium (55mg/100g), iron (6mg/100g),
zinc (2mg/100g), manganese (2mg/100g) and energy (394Kcal/100g).
Salvadora oleoides Linn.: Salvadora oleoides (family
Salvadoraceae) forms dominant part of vegetation in Barmer,
Species Sugar
(%) Protein
(%) Carbohydrate
(%) Fat
(%) Fibre
(%) Vit. A
(mg/100g) Vit. B2
(mg/100g) Vit. C
(mg/100g) Ca
(mg/100g) P
(mg/100g) Fe
(mg/100g) Energy
(Kcal/100gm)
Balanites
aegyptiaca 34.9 4.9 69.9 0.1 3.5 0.07 46 147 58 4 300.1
Calligonum
polygonoides 46 18 71.1 64 9.1 0.764 0.7 - 670 420 12.7 -
Cordia myxa - 2 92 2 2 - - - 55 275 6 394
Salvadora
oleoides - 6 76 2 2 - - - 630 167 8 346
Ziziphus
mauritiana 4.9-10 0.8 17 0.3 - 0.02 0.02 76 4 9 1.8 73.9
Table 1: Some Important Fruit Trees and Shrubs of Hot Arid Regions of Rajasthan State India and Nutritive Value.
Source: Nour [5], Duhan, et al. [7], Chandra, et al. [8], Anon [6], Rathore [4].
Figure 2: Balanites aegyptiaca tree. Figure 3: Cordia myxa.
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Jodhpur, Jaiselmer, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur and Jalore districts. It is
a large shrub or a small tree with short twisted trunk and drooping
branches (Figure 4). Fruit yield is 10-15Kg fresh fruits per mature
tree. Flowering is observed in March-April while fruiting in May-
June. Fruits are plucked or felled by shaking the trees vigorously.
Ripe fruits are sweet and are eaten raw. Nutritional value of fruits
is [7]: Protein (6%), carbohydrate (76%), fat (2%), bre (2%), zinc
(2mg/100g), phosphorous (167mg/100g), calcium (630mg/100g),
manganese (2mg/100g), iron (8mg/100g) and energy (346Kcal/100g).
Ziziphus mauritiana Linn.: It belongs to the family ‘Rhamnaceae’
and is distributed in whole of arid zone and is locally known as ‘Ber’. It
is a small evergreen, much branched tree or oen a large bushy shrub.
Its edible Parts are Fruit and seed cotyledons. During prime bearing
age of 10-20 years, the yield of dierent cultivars ranges between 50-
80Kg fruit /tree in dry areas under rainfed conditions. Flowering and
fruiting time is September-March.
Fully ripe fruits are gathered in the beginning of the winter
months, dried, ground and sieved. e powdered form is eaten either
alone or mixed with molasses or bajra our. Products such as squash,
jam, candy and ber powder have been prepared from the fruits.
Honey can be obtained from the ower nectar. It is also reported that
the cotyledons are removed from the seeds, fried and eaten separately
or mixed with bajra. Nutritional value of fruits is [8]: Protein (0.8%),
carbohydrate (17%), fat (0.3%), sugar (4.9-10%), phosphorous
(9mg/100g), calcium (4mg/100g), iron (1.8mg/100g), vitamin A
(0.02mg/100g), vitamin B2 (0.02 mg/100g), vitamin C (76mg/100g)
and energy (73.9Kcal/100g).
Leptadenia pyrotechnica Forssk. Decne: Commonly known as
Kheep, it belongs to family ‘Apocynaceae’. It is distributed throughout
the arid zone viz. Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaiselmer. It is a much branched
oen leaess erect shrub (Figure. 5). Its edible Part is Tender fruit.
Flowering time is August-December and fruiting time is November-
March. Fruit is collected and cooked as vegetable.
Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari: Commonly known as
guggul (Burseraceae family), it is a much branched spinous shrub or
a small tree (Figure 6). In Indian sub-continent, Commiphora species
occur in India and Pakistan. In Rajasthan, it occurs in the districts
of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Barmer, Sirohi, Pali, Nagour, Sikar, Churu,
Bikaner and Jhunjhunu. Plants in low density are also found in Jalore,
Siwana, Jaswantpura, Bhinmal, Jassi, Bisala, Chohatan, Udaipur,
Alwar, Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur, Bundi, Kota and Jaipur.
Guggul grows in a wide range of habitats. e plant grows wild
in the arid, rocky tracts of North-western region of India as well as
in the ravines of Chamber and Mahi rivers in Rajasthan and Gujarat,
respectively. It occurs not only in the extremely arid areas such as
Jaisalmer, Barmer etc. (± 100 mm average rainfall) but also in sub-
humid regions along deciduous/ scrub forests such as Ajmer, Falna,
and other area (400-500mm average annual rainfall).
Guggul gum is a mixture of 61% resins, 29.3% gum, 6.1%
water, 0.6% volatile oil and 3.2% foreign matter [9]. e important
biologically active principles of C21 or C27 steroids are: guggulsterol-I,
guggulsterol-II guggulsterol-III, guggulsterol-IV guggulsterol-V,
E-guggulsterone, Z-guggulsterone and related ketones.
It has been used as an inactive pharmaceutical ingredient, binding
agent, anti-obesity agent, and cholesterol-reducing agent. erapeutic
uses include treatment of nervous diseases, leprosy, muscle spasms,
ophthalmia, skin disorders, ulcerative pharyngitis, hypertension,
ischaemia, and urinary disorders. It is also used in incense, lacquers,
varnishes, and ointments, as a xative and in perfumes.
e demand and supply gap of gum guggul is increasing very
fast. According to an estimate, the domestic demand of gum guggul
is to the tune of 300tons while the supply is only 75tons. To meet the
domestic demand, presently India is importing substantial quantities
of guggul. As a result of increasing exploitation, in the year 1994, the
Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India
banned the export of this high valued medicinal plant species.
Guggul, once a luxuriantly growing species in the arid and
semi arid areas, has become an endangered species because of its
slow growing nature, poor seed setting, lack of cultivation, poor
seed germination rate and excessive tapping for gum extraction.
e growing importance of Guggul gum in organized sector of
pharmaceutical industries in India has led to ruthless exploitation by
the drug collectors and contractors. Due to lack of cultivation and
unscientic & excessive tapping for extraction of gum, it is included
Figure 4: Salvadora oleoides tree.
Figure 5: Leptadenia pyrotechnica.
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in the Red Data Book of IUCN.
Cassia angustifolia Vahl.: Locally known as Senna (family
Caesalpinaceae), it is an important medicinal shrub which has
successfully been grown in hot arid areas. Senna is a reputed drug in
Unani medicine, which has also been adopted by the pharmacopoeias
of the world. It is a multi branched, erect and bushy shrub, growing
up to one meter in height (Figure 7). It is perennial in nature and can
be harvested up to 2-3 years if cultivated once.
Leaves are pinnate, owers are bright yellow in colour, and pods
are green when young and dark brown to black when mature. It is
valued as a medicine for its cathartic properties and is especially
useful in habitual costiveness. Its leaves and pods are traditionally
used as purgatives.
e main purgative constituents in the leaves are anthraquinone
derivatives and their glucosides. Leaves contain glycosides, sennoside
A, sennoside B, sennoside C and sennoside D [10]. Leaves are also
used as a safe laxative.
It can be cultivated on all types of soils including salt aected
soils. However, optimum growth was observed in well drained sandy
loam to loam soil at pH 7-8.5. It does not come under waterlogged
and frosty conditions. It grows well under rainfed conditions and
requires one weeding. C. angustifolia performs well on marginal soils
Figure 6: Commiphora wightii.
Figure 7: Cassia angustifolia.
and yielded good harvest of leaves with least cultivation eorts.
It gives good economic returns to the farmers and local people
even in severe drought conditions when agricultural crops fail which
ultimately helps in the poverty alleviation of rural poor.
About 6000 tons of C. angustifolia dried leaves and pods are
exported from India to other countries every year. e market value
of dried leaves is ranging from Rs. 15 to Rs. 60 per kg depending on
the leaf quality.
Aloe vera: e scientic name of Aloe Vera is Aloe Barbadensis
Miller. e word ‘aloe’ has its roots in the Arabic word ‘alloeh’,
which means ‘radiance’. A native plant of Somalia, Aloe Vera (family
Liliaceae) also gures prominently in Egyptian, Chinese, Greek,
Indian and Christian literature. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant. It is
one of the 250 known species of aloes. It is stem-less plant which can
produce up to a height of about 80cm to 100cm that spreads for root
sprouts and balancing.
Aloe Vera leave is eshy, lance-shaped and thick. It is forever gray
- green and green in color (Figure 8). Flowers are made on a spine
about 90cm tall that includes tubular corolla in yellow shade which is
up to 2 to 3cm tall [11]. e sap of the Aloe is a thick, mucilaginous
gel, which is used medicinally.
e gel found in the leaves is used for soothing minor burns,
wounds, and various skin conditions like eczema and ringworm. e
gel’s eect is nearly immediate, plus it also said to reduce the chance
of any infection. It contains amino acids, vitamins, calcium, enzymes,
sodium, nitrogen and more.
It can be cultivated on all types of soils including salt aected soils.
e water requirement of this spp. is low and grows well on non-
irrigated lands. It grows in arid climates. However, it is most suited to
tropical dry to moist habitats. It can also be grown indoors and is frost
sensitive. It is propagated through root suckers in July-August. e
plant takes approx. four years to reach maturity and has a life span of
about twelve years. Aer one year of planting, leaves can be harvested
every 3 months leaving 3-4 leaves on the plants. e yield is 50 tons/
ha fresh leaves which is being sold in market @ Rs. 3/ Kg.
Jatropha curcas Linn.: It belongs to family ‘Euphorbiaceae’ and
is native to Mexico and Central America, but has adapted well to
Indian conditions (Figure 9). It is a fast growing and long-lived plant,
Figure 8: Aloe vera.
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easy to propagate, found to be growing in many parts of the country,
can grow and survive with minimum inputs in marginal land and
not browsed by animals and seeds not eaten away by birds. Time
taken for nut yield is between 2 to 5 years based on soil and rainfall
conditions and yield varies from 0.5 to 3t/yr.
Seed contains moisture (6.2%), protein (18%), fat (38%),
carbohydrates (17%), bre (15.5%) and ash (5.3%) [12,13]. e oil
content is 35-40% in the seeds and 50-55% in the kernal. Oil contains
21% saturated fatty acids and 79% unsaturated fatty acids. Jatropha
oil mainly consists of triglycerides of oleic acid (34-45%), linoleic acid
(31-43%) and palmitic acid (14-15%) [14]. It is unsuitable for human
consumption. Its latex contains an alkaloid Known as “Jatrophine”.
Oil is used for skin diseases and rheumatism. Roots are reported to
be as an antidote for snake bite. Seeds are considered anthelmintic
in Brazil [15]. e ether extract shows antibiotic activity against
Styphylococcus oureus and E. coli.
Citrullus colocynthes Linn.: Belonging to family ‘cucurbitaceae’
and common on sandy tracts in the desert zone, it is perennial, tender
climbing monoecious plant with 2-3tendrils. Leaves are deeply 3-5
lobate and both, the male & female owers are yellow.
Fruits are globular, variegated, dark green with yellowish blotches.
When ripe, it is lled with a dry spongy very bitter pulp. Fruits are
bitter, pungent, cooling purgative, antipyretic, antihelminthic and
are also used in atulence (gas problems). It may be toxic if taken in
large doses. Root powder is eective in jaundice, urinary diseases and
rheumatism. Root extract is antidote to scorpion bite. Commercial
drug “Colocynth” from dry pulp of fruit is cathartic.
Concluding Remarks
Sample survey in species occurring zones needs to be done for
Figure 9: Jatropha carcus.
updating and cross-validation of data. Economics should be worked
out based on the existing information of distribution, production and
market rates. e existing markets, marketing network for various
products and possible linkage must be explored to help farmers.
Studies on value addition, long-term storage and shelf-life of the
products required to be taken up on priority. Finally, focus should
be on the quality control and certication of organically produced
material.
References
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2. Bhattacharya AK. NWFPs as food in India. FAO Non-Wood News 11, Rome:
FAO. 2004; 9-10.
3. Tewari VP. Some important wild plants yielding alternative foods for nutritional
security in arid region of Rajasthan. In: R.K. Behl and A.K. Chhabra (eds.),
Enhancing Production and Food Value of Plants: Genetic Options, Hissar:
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150.
4. Rathore M. Nutrient content of important fruit trees from arid zone of
Rajasthan. Journal of Horticulture and Forestry. 2009; 1: 103-108.
5. Nour AAM, Ahmed AR, Abdel-Gayoum AA. A chemical study of Balanites
aegyptiaca L. (Lalob) fruits grown in Sudan. Journal of the Science of Food
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6. Anon. Food from Forests in Arid Zone. Technical Brochure. Arid Forest
Research Institute, Jodhpur. 2006; 12.
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plant foods of India. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1992; 42: 193-200.
8. Chandra A, Chandra A, Gupta IC. Arid Fruit Research. Jodhpur: Scientic
Publishers. 1994; 302.
9. Wickens GE. Ecophysiology of Economic Plants in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands.
Berlin, New York: Springer Science & Business media. 2013; 343.
10. Panda H. Medicinal Plants Cultivation & Their Uses. New Delhi: Asia Pacic
Business Press Inc. 2002; 598.
11. Yates A. Yates Garden Guide. Sydney, Australia: Harper Collins. 2002; 466.
12. Pramanik T, Tripathi S. Biodiesel: Clean fuel of the future. Hydrocarbon
Processing. 2005; 84: 50.
13. Gonsalves JB. An Assessment of the Biofuels Industry in Thailand. United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development. 2006; 29.
14. Mittelbach M, Remschmidt C. Biodiesel: The Comprehensive Handbook.
Graz, Australia: Martin Mittelbach Publisher. 2004; 332.
15. Monteiro MV, Bevilaqua CM, Morais SM, Machado LK, Camurça-Vasconcelos
AL, Campello CC, et al. Anthelmintic activity of Jatropha curcas L. seeds on
Haemonchus contortus.Veterinary parasitology. 2011; 182: 259-263.
Citation: Tewari VP. Some Important Fruit Trees and Shrubs of Hot Arid Regions of Rajasthan State in India,
Their Uses and Nutritive Values. J Plant Chem and Ecophysiol. 2016; 1(1): 1004.
J Plant Chem and Ecophysiol - Volume 1 Issue 1 - 2016
Submit your Manuscript | www.austinpublishinggroup.com
Tewari. © All rights are reserved
... The importance of wild plants in subsistence agriculture in the developing world as a food supplement and as a means of survival during times of drought and famine has been overlooked. Generally, the consumption of these 'alternative-food' has been under-estimated [1] . In many Indian states, especially Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, 80 percent of forest dwellers depend on forests for 25 to 50 percent of their annual food requirements [1] . ...
... Generally, the consumption of these 'alternative-food' has been under-estimated [1] . In many Indian states, especially Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, 80 percent of forest dwellers depend on forests for 25 to 50 percent of their annual food requirements [1] . There are about 30 plant species in arid zone known for their edible use and of these about 20 plant species are known for their edible fruits either raw or use as vegetable [2] . ...
... Honey can be obtained from the flower nectar. It is also reported that the cotyledons are removed from the seeds, fried and eaten separately or mixed with bajra [1] . Chinese jujube (Zizyphus jujuba Mill.) is grown in temperate regions while Indian jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.) is cultivated in hot arid regions of India. ...
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India is recognised as a rich heritage of neglected and underutilized fruit species. Many underutilized fruit species are found in desert part of India. These fruit species have great potential to provide nutritional and livelihood security. Among them, Aonla, Annonaceous fruits, Datepalm, Jharberi (Zizyphus nummularia), Ker (Capparis decidua), Khejri (Prosopis cineraria), Lasoda (Cordia myxa), etc. are pre-dominant. These fruits provide supplement nutrition in poor diet of rural and tribal peoples. Owing to their nutraceuticals prosperity, these fruits play crucial role in curing of different ailments. Mature fruits of Ker and Pilu are rich source of anti-oxidants, phenolic and carotenoids content. Processing and value addition of these fruits is done by the localized, which helps to earn extra income. Aonla can be processed into preserve, candy, laddu, powder and Triphala. Unripe fruits of Ker and Jharberi are used to preparation of pickles which has great demand in market. Khejri pods are consumed fresh as well as in dried form. Fresh pods of Khejri locally known as “Sangri” are widely used in the form of chutney and vegetable which fetches higher price in restaurants. Lasoda fruits are rich in gum and this gum is used for coating of fruits and vegetables. Selling of fresh ripe fruits of Lasoda, Jharberi and Ker also added extra income to rural farmers. Due to lacking of technical knowledge, appropriate post harvest management and processing is a major concern. In majority of fruits technical standards arenegligible along with important commercial cultivars. So, there is an urgent need for developing post harvest technologies and methodologies, which can reduce the post harvest loss and maximize their processing. In this chapter, post harvest management, processing and value addition of important arid and semi-arid fruit crops are discussed.
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Agroforestry is gaining a higher position and becoming a specialized science with integration of both crops and forestry science. The sustainable land use farming practices are involved in various life forms of plants/trees with livestock on a single piece of land creating more diversification with multiple outputs, enhance biomass productivity, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) through absorption and fixation and protect the environment through ecosystem services. In modern day, the adoption of agroforestry is continuously rising due to their biophysical, socio-economical, cultural and environmental services in the tropical condition. In the era of climate change, it gives diversifying food and fruits under a different type of agroforestry models (AFM) and can solve the food and nutritional problem of the people in society. From the Indian perspective, agroforestry is being practiced about 14 Mha, but if explored properly it has further higher potential to increase the land area under agroforestry. It was found that up to 65.0% of timber and 50.0% of fuelwood come from the agroforestry sector. Therefore, agroforestry has also the potentiality to reduce poverty, increase income generation and provide alternate income generation sources. Along with other benefits, the practices of agroforestry are economically viable for the farmers which generate employment. Various choices for farmers are available for adopting different types of AFM integrating numbers of the tree crop with livestock in various agroclimatic zones. Farmers have an option to select AFM as per socio-physical conditions (i.e. land holding, economic condition, climatic condition, resource availability, market economy). Apiculture- and sericulture-based agroforestry is another option for farmers for alleviating poverty and enhancing socio-economic conditions. From the ecological point of view, agroforestry may potentially maintain the soil quality and health which is linked with the fertility of soil and decomposition of soil organic matter. Thus, there is a nexus between soil fertility and crop productivity in various agroforestry systems (AFS). From a research point of view, there is a need for conservation of superior germplasm of agroforestry components along with their proper domestication and utilization. This chapter deals with interrelationship between soil health, productivity under AFS addressing natural resource conservation, food security and livelihood security towards sustainability. Research should be undertaken for maximizing the productivity of trees and crops under agroforestry for continuous benefits to farmers along with environmental protection and ecological security and sustainability.
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Wild plants assume importance as alternative sources of food, especially in the areas receiving frequent droughts and famines. Prosopis cineraria, Capparis decidua and Acacia Senegal are some of the important plants found in the arid region of Rajasthan, which provide food supplement and means of survival during time of hardships. Rural people of Rajasthan have a deep knowledge about the use of famine foods. Alternative food consumption is common in rural areas of Rajasthan. Some of the alternative foods have made its place in menus of most of five star hotels and with increasing tourism demand for it is likely to increase. Thus this has potential to improve rural economy of the area as well if suitable marketing network is developed to help farmers to sell their produce from wild plants. Organic certification will also be an important aspect of this strategy.
Book
1 Economic Plants, and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of the World.- 2 The Arid and Semi-Arid Environments of the World.- 3 Arid and Semi-arid Regions and Ecosystems of the World.- 4 Ecophysiology, Nitrogen-Fixation and Plant Stress.- 5 Water Stress.- 6 Temperature Stress.- 7 Salt Stress.- 8 Photosynthesis.- 9 Plant Metabolites.- 10 Anatomical and Morphological Adaptations.- 11 Selected Arid Land Plants: Their Ecophysiology and Uses.- References.- Taxonomic Indices.- Botanical Index.- Zoological Index.
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Economic botany is the study of plants that are directly or indirectly of benefit of man, his livestock and the maintenance of the environment. The latter includes species used for soil stabilisation, shade, etc. However, in order to avoid embracing the entire plant kingdom, some form of conscious or subconscious management must be involved. The benefits may be domestic, commercial, environmental or purely aesthetic; their usefulness may belong to the past, the present or the future. In this context, ‘economic’ is used in the sense of utilitarian rather than for monetary gain and includes plants that are commercially cultivated and marketed (agricultural,horticultural and forestry crops) as well as wild plants utilised in the domestic economy.
Article
Two samples of Balanites aegyptiaca fruits were collected from two different regions in Sudan. The edible mesocarp contained 1.2–1.5% protein and 35–37% total sugars of which 81.3–91.1% is present as reducing sugars. The kernels contained 45.0–46.1% oil. Palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids were the main fatty acids. The ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids was 10:26 in both samples. The protein was found to be low in aromatic amino acids.
Article
Forests have provided food and shelter to man since ages. About 20% of the plants occurring in the forests are reported to have direct utility to mankind. Around 600 plant species in Indian forests are ennumerated to have food value. Arid zone vegetation comprises a wide range of edible fruit bearing and food producing species viz. Capparis decidua (Ker), Cordia dichotoma (lasora), Ziziphus mauritiana (ber), Ziziphus nummularia (Bordi), Salvadora oleoides (Jal), Balanites aegyptiaca (Hingota), Prosopis cineraria (Khejri) etc. which play an important role in the nutrition of children in rural and urban areas alike and are relished by them. Most of these fruits are rich sources of protein and energy. Ker is a rich source of fibre, vitamin A and vitamin C. Ber is richer than apple in protein, phosphorous, calcium, carotene and vitamin C. However they are often under valued and underutilized as more exotic fruits become accessible. Also most of these are not cultivated and there is only scant and dispersed knowledge about them. Their production and consumption provides a dietary supplement as well as commercial opportunity. Potential fruit species from arid region are reviewed in context with their nutrient contents.
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of hexane (HE), ethyl acetate (EA) and ethanol (EE) extracts obtained from the seeds of Jatropha curcas using the egg hatch inhibition assay (EHA) and the artificial larval exsheathment inhibition assay (LEIA). For the egg hatch assay, HE, EA and EE were used in concentrations of 3.12, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 mg ml(-1), accompanied by a negative control (5% Tween 80) and a positive control (0.025 g ml(-1) thiabendazole). In LEIA, the extracts were tested at a concentration of 1000 μg ml(-1), accompanied by a negative control (PBS). To evaluate the effect of tannins, the extract with the greatest effect was incubated with polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP). The EE (50 mg ml(-1)) inhibited 99.8% of egg hatching. After the addition of PVPP, the ovicidal effectiveness of EE was reduced to 91.9%. Using the HE and EA, inhibition of egg hatching was 15.3% and 32.2%, respectively. In the LEIA, 18.9% of L3 incubated with EE were exsheathed (p<0.01). The addition of PVPP to EE reversed the inhibitory effect on larval exsheathment. The percentage of exsheathment of L3 incubated with HE (99.6%) and EA (97.8%) did not differ from the control group (p>0.05). The results show that the effects of EE on eggs are not solely due to the tannins. However, these secondary metabolites are implicated in blocking the larval exsheathment.
Article
Thirteen non-conventional foods including fruits, leaves and grains consumed in various parts of the Indian subcontinent were analysed for their nutritional value. Khejri beans (Prsopsis cineria), Pinju (Capparis decidua) and Kachri (Cucumis species) contained considerable amounts of protein (15-18%). Kachri was rich in fat (13%). Bhakri (Tribulus terristris), Gullar (Ficus glomerata) and Peehl (Salvadora oleoides) were found to be rich sources of calcium; Gullar contained about 15 times the amount of calcium present in wheat. Phosphorus content of Santhi (Boernavia diffusa), Khejri beans, Bhakri, Pinju and Lehsora (Cordia dichotoma) were noticeable. Zinc was present in high amounts in Peepalbanti (Ficus religiosa) and Gullar; as was iron in Santhi and Bhakri and manganese in Santhi. Besides iron, zinc and calcium, Pinju contained appreciable amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C. However, Santhi contained high amounts of oxalic acid.