Jessenia bataua: A Unique Oil-Palm With Potential for Commercial Cultivation in the Caribbean

Jessenia bataua (Mart.) Burrett is an oil palm with great commercial potential. Its preponderance of unsaturated oils, produced in abundance and virtually identical to olive oil, makes it desirable for cooking purposes and for health reasons. Its natural, but by no means exclusive, market would be those parts of Europe and North America where olive oil is valued and used. As a plantation crop, jessenia is well suited to those areas of the Caribbean with well drained, fertile soils and reliable tropical rainfall patterns. Selected areas of the Caribbean would be good choices for cultivation of J. bataua for several reasons. First, the Caribbean has well established trading ties with North America, Britain, and France and, potentially, the rest of the European Economic Community. Second, as a specialty crop of perhaps limited production potential by the standards of larger, more developed nations, it is admirably suited to relatively small, intensively cultivated areas and to governments small enough and concerned enough that they could take sufficient interest in its successful cultivation and promotion to ensure its commercial success. Next to grasses, [the palms] are the most generally useful of all plants .... Among the products yielded by palms are sugar, "milk," fat, wax, textile fabrics, wood for building, and leaves for making thatch, baskets, mats, and the like. E.W. Eckey, p.302 Many species of palm are potentially valuable for commercial oil extraction. M.J. Balick, p.11; emphasis added.

Issue Date:
Aug 09 1992
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-07-11, last modified 2018-01-23

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