Greener Journal of Agronomy, Forestry and Horticulture Vol. 2 (2), pp. 027-037, April 2014.
ISSN: 2354-2306 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 010314008
Potentials of Hausa Potato (Solenostemon rotundifolius(Poir.) J. K. Morton and Management of its Tuber Rot in Nigeria
*1Enyiukwu D. N., 1Awurum A. N. and 2Nwaneri J. A.
1Department of Plant Health Management, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, P.M.B 7269 Umuahia, Abia State Nigeria.
2Lesser and Minor Root Crops Unit, National Root Crop Research Institute Umudike,
PMB 7006 Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: enyidave2003 @ gmail. com, Tel: +234 803 744 6891
Solenostemon rotundifolius (Poir) J. K. Morton commonly called Hausa potato in Nigeria, is a herbaceous, annual crop, with distinctive fragrance and peculiar tuber taste. Ethnomedicinally, leaves of the crop are used to treat dysentery, blood in urine and eye disorders. The tubers are eaten as a main starchy staple or part of it in combination with legumes, vegetables or cereals. The crop which is popular in the middle belt and Northeastern Nigeria, is constrained by edaphic factors, extremes of climatic variables and biotic pressures resulting in tiny tuber formations, tuber branching, low yields and poor tuber storability due to rots and poor storage methods. Amongst these, rots have been identified as the greatest constraint; followed by dearth of documented information on proper methods of its storage. Synthetic fungicides are veritable agents of fungal rot control; however their use is being de-emphasized due to ecological and human health concerns occasioned by residues in crops as well as development of resistance to chemical control agents in pathogens. Phytopesticides have been advocated as viable alternatives for tuber rot control. However, their use has not been sufficiently researched on Hausa potato. Besides, the phytochemical constitution of the leaves and tubers of the crop underpinning their fragrance, peculiar taste and ethnomedicinal uses have not been fully documented. So are the mineral and vitamins composition of the tubers. Poor scientific research attention is considered as the reason for the poor performance of some tuber crops in Africa, both in the field and store. If given adequate and focused research attention, Hausa potato as a delicate vegetable crop holds prospects for enlarged adoption into other agro-ecological zones of Nigeria, and thereby contribute to food security. This communication therefore enumerates the importance of Hausa potato and presents significant researchable opportunities on the crop.
Keywords: Solenostemon rotundifolius, Coleus rotundifolius, Plectranthus rotundifolius, Hausa potato, Frafra potato, rots.