A review of the role of the Cucurbitaceae family in food security in West Africa

Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development

Field Value
Title A review of the role of the Cucurbitaceae family in food security in West Africa
Creator Fajinmi, Olufunke O. Olarewaju, Olaoluwa O. Arthur, Georgina D. Naidoo, Kuben Coopoosamy, Roger M.
Subject Agriculture; Food and nutritional security; African Indigenous Vegetables Cucurbitaceae species; food and nutritional security; Africa indigenous vegetables; Nigeria; West Africa
Description Background: Food and nutritional security are main development goals in several countries of Africa. In West Africa, the use of African indigenous vegetables caters for the food and nutritional needs of a high proportion of the people, most particularly amongst the poor and rural dwellers. The family Cucurbitaceae is one of the most important and widely grown vegetables in the tropical and subtropical climates.Aim and objective: This review discusses the culinary relevance of several species of Cucurbitaceae and their roles in food security in West Africa.Methods: A literature search was conducted on electronic databases such as Google Books, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science.Discussions: Certain genera such as Telfairia, Cucurbita and Citrullus and other Egusi species are commonly cultivated in different parts of West Africa including Nigeria for their fruits, seeds and leaves because of their crucial nutrient compositions and palatability in local diets. These species and other species of Cucurbitaceae are used as traditional vegetables or African indigenous vegetables and are either sourced from the wild or cultivated in several African countries. Some of these species have played roles beyond food security but have also been crucial tools for nutritional security, especially within the low-income group and rural communities.Conclusions: Several communities in West Africa use almost all parts of the plant (leaves, fruit, seed, flowers) of some species of this family as food or in food preparations. Their use could also lead to innovative pathways towards reducing diseases associated with malnutrition especially those related to protein deficiency.
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
Contributor Olufunke O. Fajinmi, Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Georgina D. Arthur, Kuben K. Naidoo and Roger M. Coopoosamy Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, 4031, South Africa
Date 2022-06-28
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Review
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/jomped.v6i1.155
Source Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development; Vol 6, No 1 (2022); 8 pages 2616-4809 2519-559X
Language eng
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https://jomped.org/index.php/jomped/article/view/155/490 https://jomped.org/index.php/jomped/article/view/155/491 https://jomped.org/index.php/jomped/article/view/155/492 https://jomped.org/index.php/jomped/article/view/155/493
Coverage Africa 1964-2018 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Olufunke O. Fajinmi, Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Georgina D. Arthur, Kuben Naidoo, Roger M. Coopoosamy https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0