Thursday, 8 March 2012

Edible Crops on Botswana’s stamp

Botswana Post has been issued the stamp set features edible crops on June 15, 2005. The issue comprises of 4 postage stamp depicts species bean, millet, sorghum, and watermelon as member of edible crop plants. 

Bean  is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed and  have significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber, with one cup of cooked beans providing between nine and 13 grams of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol. Beans are also high in protein, complex carbohydrates, foliate, and iron.

The  major type of bean is the broad bean (Vicia faba),  which only 3.7 million tonnes were grown in 2007. The commercial production of beans is well-distributed worldwide, with countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, South and North America all among the top bean growers.  

Millets have been important food staples in human history, particularly in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa. They grow in harsh environments where other crops do not grow well. The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder.Pearl millet and finger millet are the two most popular forms of millets. 

Millets mostly originated in tropical western Africa, as that is where the greatest number of both wild and cultivated forms exist. Improvements in production, availability, nutritional content, storage and utilization technology for millets may significantly contribute to the household food security and nutrition of the inhabitants of these areas. 

Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture.
Sorghum is a self-pollinating plant and is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae . It is more drought and temperature resistant than maize (corn) and other crops. The height of the plant depends  varying between 60 to 460 centimeters. The leaves are  long and wide  grow off the stalk.

Sorghum seed is small and round. A seed head is usually between 25 to 36 cm, present on the top of the stalk of a mature sorghum plant.
For centuries Sorghum has been as one of the most important staple foods for millions of poor rural people in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa. Grain sorghum is the third most important cereal crop grown in the United States and the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world.

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus , family Cucurbitaceae) is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa.  The watermelon fruit, has a smooth exterior rind (green, yellow and sometimes white) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow and even green if not ripe). It is also commonly used to make a variety of salads, most notably fruit salad. A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight. As with many other fruits, it is a source of vitamin C. 

The amino-acid citrulline was first extracted from watermelon and analyzed. Watermelons contain a significant amount of citrulline and after consumption of several kg, an elevated concentration is measured in the blood plasma; this could be mistaken for citrullinaemia or other urea cycle disorders.Watermelon is mildly diuretic and contains large amounts of beta carotene. (Resources data were taken from Wikipedia)

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