Economic Importance and Production Constraints of Napier (Cenchrus purpureus) Grass in Africa (Review)

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Year:
2024
Type of Publication:
Article
Keywords:
Elephant Grass, Forage, Phytoremediation, Head Smut, Abiotic Stress
Authors:
Demisse, Tadelech Bizuneh; Kassia, Messele Molla
Journal:
IJRAS
Volume:
11
Number:
2
Pages:
22-35
Month:
March
ISSN:
2348-3997
Abstract:
Napier grass, scientifically known as Cenchrus purpureus and commonly referred to as elephant grass, plays a significant role in the agricultural and industrial sectors in Africa. This review provides an overview of the economic importance of Napier grass and highlights its various applications, including its use as a fodder crop in smallholder farming systems, a raw material in the pulp and paper industry, a source of biofuel for renewable energy production, and as a phytoremediator plant for combating environmental pollution, particularly heavy metals. Additionally, the grass is utilized in 'pull-push' insect pest management strategies. Despite its invasive characteristics impacting native flora, Napier grass also serves as a natural barrier against soil erosion. However, the production of Napier grass faces certain constraints, such as the prevalence of diseases like Napier grass head smut and stunt diseases. This review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted uses of Napier grass and shed light on the challenges associated with its cultivation.

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