Cultivation of new mint crops could boost rural economies in Uganda

phys.org | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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A new collaborative project will support the development of local communities in rural Uganda by creating and commercialising new varieties of mint.

In conjunction with Ugandan partners, Cardiff University researchers will combine scientific research with engagement, training and commercialisation activities, to support local Ugandan communities to grow mint crops, with the aim of developing new mint-oil products for local commercial benefit.

Leaves - Mint - Plants - Oils - Component

The leaves of mint plants produce several essential oils, the key component of which is menthol. These essential oils are used in a range of applications, from food flavourings to cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpaste and shower gel. Pineapple mint species also contain nepetalactone, which is a potent natural insect repellent. The market for mint oil-based products has a value of around $800m a year.

"Given the large commercial value of mint oil extracts, we are confident that wide-scale cultivation of mint crops in Uganda could prove a viable resource for globally competitive production of mint essential oils," explained project lead Dr. Simon Scofield from Cardiff University School of Biosciences.

Help - Grant - BBSRC - Partnership - Makerere

"With the help of a grant from BBSRC, and in partnership with Makerere University (Uganda), we are looking to develop new mint varieties that can be cultivated in rural Uganda to produce high yields of essential oils containing menthol or nepatalactone. These oils...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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