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CTA. 1989. New oilseed. Spore 19. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45016
An inconspicuous wild plant discovered by chance in Ethiopia could become an important industrial oil crop of benefit to many ACP countries. The plant is Vernonia galamensis, a common annual herbaceous weed that thrives in many dry parts of Africa...
An inconspicuous wild plant discovered by chance in Ethiopia could become an important industrial oil crop of benefit to many ACP countries. The plant is Vernonia galamensis, a common annual herbaceous weed that thrives in many dry parts of Africa and Asia and can tolerate extreme heat. Vernonia seeds contain epoxy oil, which is widely used in the manufacture of plastics and protective coatings. Because of its ability to form a thin film, Vernonia oil has an advantage over the more viscous soyabean and linseed oils used in the manufacture of chemical coatings and vaints. New legislation in the US, which limits the use of solvents that evaporate from drying paint and cause air pollution, could benefit Vernonia because its oil does not evaporate, but becomes part of the coating. Planting trials in Zimbabwe show considerable promise. In 1986, plantings of unimproved seed yielded 1.5 tonnes of seed per hectare. With an oil content of 40%, the yield already exceeds that of soya oil; cultural techniques have now raised the yield to 2.5t/ha. Improved seed may give even higher yields. The biggest problern with cultivating V.Galamensis is that it only flowers in very short days. In Zimbabwe it has been planted in November with irrigation but agronomists hope that varieties can be bred which are not so sensitive to day length and which will flower in response to longer days. For more details, contact: Department of Research & Specialist Services - Ministry of Agriculture - PO Box 4046 - Harare - ZIMBABWE