Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG) – Yeheb: An Endangered Multipurpose Shrub

Yeheb is a multi-branched shrub that grows only in the border area between Somalia and Ethiopia. Yeheb (Cordeauxia edulis Hemsley) belongs to the Fabaceae (Caesalpinioideae) and is the only species within the genus Cordeauxia.

An evergreen dry-land shrub, yeheb grows prolific bunches of pods that contain seeds of a nutritious food quality that the local people prefer to staple crops such as maize and sorghum. The tasty seeds with a thin easily cracked testa and a chestnut-like flavour, roasted, boiled for sweet liquor, occasionally eaten fresh, make an unusually nourishing and balanced food. The seeds are rich in energy containing 37% starch, 24% sugars, 13% protein, 11% fats and various minerals. The foliage supplies fodder for livestock and wild animals. The wood is used as firewood and more often as construction material.

Since few nutritious plants grow in yeheb’s native habitat, it is much exploited by animals and humans, causing slow or no regeneration. Yeheb is now listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is necessary to increase the efforts to domesticate yeheb in order to prevent its extinction and to develop its commercial benefits for the local people in the fight for poverty reduction and food security. Yeheb has remarkable commercial potential. Its tasty seeds with smooth consistency comparable to cashew, macadamia, pistachio or hazelnut would be marketable world-wide as a delicacy and it may also provide ingredients for medicine and food industries. The demand in markets – both local and international – exceeds the supply. The crop has a potential to be a valuable food in other hot, dry regions where the soils are poor and rainfall is low and erratic.

This piece is taken from the website of the Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG).

See on-line at: http://www.satg.org/work/environment-and-biodiversity/yeheb-an-endangered-multipurpose-shrub/

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One Response to “Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG) – Yeheb: An Endangered Multipurpose Shrub”

  1. milan Says:

    Ok read with alarmed concern…so how can we help?

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