Evaluation of nontraditional vegetables under the climatic conditions of Punjab, Pakistan

Evaluation of nontraditional vegetables under the climatic conditions of Punjab, Pakistan

Muhammad Aamer1, Rashad Mukhtar Balal1, Muhammad Adnan Shahid1,3, Muhammad Zubair1 and Mujahid Ali2

  1. Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha
  2. Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
  3. Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Florida, USA.

(Date of Submission: (19/10/2017)

Vegetable production and consumption is of great importance from economic and health point of view in global village. Vegetables constitute a group of foods that are essential to a well-balanced diet. They have special advantage of being cheap and easily available source of carbohydrate, protein, minerals and vitamins (Mohler and Johnson, 2009). Unluckily production of vegetable in Pakistan is very low than its demand. In Pakistan the total area for vegetable cultivation is about 385578 hectare with total production 3116808 tons (FAO, 2017).  Non-traditional vegetable crops are plants that are grown in relatively small quantities and which are not traditionally cultivated in a country or region. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘speciality’ or ‘alternative’ crops, but many people also use the term ‘exotic’. Non-traditional vegetables are distinct from exotic cultivars which are cultivated varieties of traditional crops (i.e., those traditionally grown in a country) but with an exotic origin (Kellm et al., 2015). An example of a non-traditional crop in the Pakistan is Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) while it is cultivated in many parts of United Kingdom and Europe, it is not traditionally cultivated in the Pakistan. In comparison, an example of a traditional vegetable in Pakistan is okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), which extensively grown all over the Pakistan and South Asia (Naeem et al., 2006: Pritam et al., 2007).

The movement of crops around the world has been taking place for hundreds of years. And with the passage of time nontraditional vegetables becomes traditional crop of a country after its climatic and local community adaptation for that particular crop. For example cauliflower was not a native crop of Pakistan and after its introduction in Pakistan now it’s being grown on large number of area of Pakistan (Jamil et al., 2005). The minimum daily intake of 400 g of fruits and vegetables has been recommended for good health and general wellbeing (Nishida et al., 2004; Singh and Singh, 2003). Pakistan is blessed with all four seasons and have good potential for cultivation of numerous traditional as well as nontraditional vegetable crops. The cole crops have wide adoptability potential in this region of world. Cole crops are a group of related vegetables belonging to the mustard family, Brassicaceae (formally known as Cruciferae). All cole crops are natural varieties of species Brassica oleraceae. They include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi etc. these vegetables are a good source of nutrients and can be consumed as cooked or fresh as salad like broccoli. All varieties of species Brassica oleraceae have their origin from Europ and Asia and are known as the decedents of wild cabbage. They are hardy cool season vegetables which may be herbaceous annuals, biennials, or perennials (Delahaut and Newenhouse, 1997).

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Pakistan is an agriculture state (Khan et al., 2010). The budget of the nation fundamentally depends upon agriculture region. It is second biggest segment consuming more than 21 percent GDP impart and assimilates 45 percent of employs in the state. About like 62% of the nation people exists in country side regions and specifically depend upon agricultural science. This part is a real provider of incomes and has complete a big involvement to the downstream businesses and trade of Pakistan. It is a vital source of modern items like compound manures, insecticides, tractors and farm equipment (FAO, 2012). There is a serious necessity to develop crop production to meet the proper climatic and environmental condition which are best suited for agricultural and horticultural products. Mostly cash crops are cultured in Pakistan however development of vegetables is really profitable and helpful project because of their fresh utilization and higher costs. Vegetables are little time crops and expended in different structures like tubers, leaves, blossoms and products of the soil. Vegetables are rich in supplements and strands utilized both cooked and new structures (Doijode, 2001). Minimum daily intake of 400 g of fruits and vegetables has been recommended for good health and general wellbeing of human (Nishida et al., 2004).


Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. Italica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family as a wild form of this family, which found along the Mediterranean region. It is an Italian vegetable, native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated in Italy in ancient roman times and about 1720 in England. On the other hand, the USA it first appeared in 1806, but it was commercially cultivated of broccoli was started around 1923 (Decoteau, 2000). In Jordan, broccoli is cultivated on a limited area (Ministry of Agriculture, 2006). However, due to increase in its popularity, there is a trend to increase cultivation by farmers as well as consumption by consumers. Broccoli is an important vegetable crop and has high nutritional and good commercial value (Yoldas et al., 2008). It is low in sodium food, fat free and calories, high in vitamin C and good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and calcium (Decoteau, 2000). Nowadays, broccoli attracted more attention due to its multifarious use and great nutritional value (Talalay and Fahey, 2001; Rangkadilok et al., 2004). Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) is a member of the cole crops, and it is important fresh and processing vegetable crop in most of the countries of the world. Cole crops are biennials, but are generally grown as annuals. They are suited to the climate of many regions. Cabbage is a vegetable crop and generally is grown in Rabi season in Bangladesh. Growth and yield of canbbage vegetable is remarkably influenced by organic and inorganic nutrients. It is an established fact that use of inorganic fertilizer for the crops is not so good for health because of residual effect but in the case of organic fertilizer such problem does not arise and on the other hand it increase the productivity of soil as well as crop quality and yield (Tindall 2000)

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Cabbage is believed to have originated in Western Europe and it was the first cole crop to be cultivated. Prior to cultivation and use as food, cabbage was mainly used for medicinal purposes (Silva 1986). In addition to the fresh market, cabbage is now processed into Kraut, egg rolls and cole slaws and there is the potential for other specialty markets for the various types including red, savoy and mini cabbage. Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C. In addition to containing some B vitamins, cabbage supplies some potassium and calcium to the diet. 250 mL of raw cabbage contains 21 kilocalories and cooked, 58 kilocalories (Haque 2006). Cabbage is an important and nutritious winter leafy vegetable in our country. It contains a range of essential vitamins and minerals as well as small amount of protein and good caloric value. In recent years vegetable consumption has increased and its growth can be effected by changing the planting time (Haque 2005). Kale is related to cabbage, collards, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Kale is especially valuable nutritionally since it supplies important amounts of vitamin A, ascorbic acid and iron. Pound for pound, greens such as kale contain many times more vitamin A than snap beans, sweet corn or green peppers. Varieties are widely diverse, being tall or short, erect or flattened. Seeds of kale may be sown in the spring or in late summer where the plants are to stand, or they may be sown in seedbeds in the greenhouse or hotbed and transplanted to the garden. Plant a spring crop as early as the soil can be prepared. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart; rows should be 24 to 30 inches apart. Tall-growing types need the wider spacing. Plant seed for the fall crop in late July and August (Durham et al., 2016).


Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleraceae var. gemmifera) is a member of cruciferae family and researches on Brussels sprouts became dense on their cancer preventive effects, sowing and planting time, plant density, fertiliz application timing, stopping and relations between temperature and plant development. Epidemiological studies give evidence those cruciferous vegetable human against cancer due to reduction of oxidative DNA damage with their glucosinolate content and also result from animal experiments show that they reduce chemically induced tumer formation (Steinkeliner et al., 2001; zhu et al., 2000). The processing yield, total yield, plant dry weight, leaf thickness, stein weight, leaf weight, root weight, leaf area, net assimilation rate and relative growth rate were influenced by planting time and plant distance in Brussels sprouts and broccoli (Kar and Uzun, 2000; Uzum and kar, 2004). There is a relation between the period of planting to bud initiation and period from panting to optimum harvest date in brussels sprouts. Therefore the time for optimum harvest can thus be predicted after bud initiation, the optimum temperature for curd formation in cauliflower is 12.8 °C. (Everaarts and Sukkel, 1999; Grevsen and Olesen, 1994).

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