Pumpkin is a crop of commercial importance grown in West Africa. Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone are the major producers of the plant. Fluted Pumpkin is majorly cultivated for its leaves and eaten as potherb. The seeds can be eaten whole by boiling and more foten used to lace several soup including egusi soup. It is called Ugu in Igboland, Iroko in Yorubaland and Umeke in Edo. The seed is planted one foot apart by turning the exposed part of the seed upward and the other side in the soil. it needs air, free movement, enough space and enough water. It should be staked into a framework of bamboo or make a shelf for it to climb on when twining. It germinates after ten days and can be harvested for its first time after a month and later every 2-4 weeks. It may be interplanted with other drops like yam or cassava in which it uses their stakes for support.
Some of the health benefits of pumpkin leave according to agropreneu include: Prevention of convulsion: The young leaves sliced and mixed with coconut water and salt are stored in a bottle and used for the treatment of convulsion in ethno medicine. Lowers cholesterol: leaves has hypolipdemic effect and may be a useful therapy in hypercholestolemia. Boost fertility: A particular study showed that pumpkin has the potential to regenerate testicular damage and also increase spermatogenesis.
Others: It has a liver protecting effects and It has antibacterial effects. The leaves are rich in iron and play a key role in the cure of anaemia, (my mother used to mix the leaf extract with milk). They are also noted for lactating properties and are in high demand for nursing mothers. It has an hypoglycaemic (sugar reducing) effect. It is good for diabetics. Increases Blood Volume and Boost Immune System. Diseases and control: A number of diseases affect pumpkin: Anthracnose caused by Colleotricum lagenarium.
It can be controlled by crop rotation and the use of resistant cultivars. Angular leaf spot caused by Pseudomonas lachrymans. It can be controlled with the use of Copper-containing fungicides, although high application could cause injury to the plant.Downy Mildew caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis. It can be controlled with the Use of resistant cultivars and if fungicides are to be used, they must be applied with high pressure sprayers to assume complete coverage of foliage undersides.
Also good air drainage and growing fields isolated from earlier plantings will also lessen the disease severity. Also rotation and reduced planting density to promote more open canopies should also be considered in areas with high incidence of this disease.
•Separate the seeds from the flesh and strings.
•Dry the seed in a flat plate for 7 days.
•Spacing: planted one foot apart •Germination period: 10 days
•Harvesting: first time after a month for the leave
•Harvesting: and thereafter every 2-4 weeks leaf harvest.
•Best planted in not so rainy weather.
•Organic or farmyard manure