Production and marketing of traditional herbs: A plan for developing agricultural opportunities in Indian country
AuthorHayden, Anita Lisa
AdvisorHoffmann, Joseph J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research describes one approach to commercializing new horticultural crops for the natural products industry. The use of aeroponic technology proved to be feasible for the production of difficult-to-harvest, high-value root crops. Using Arctium lappa Asteraceae ("burdock") as a model crop in a modified A-frame aeroponic growing unit, the biomass and phytochemical yields of roots grown in aeroponics were compared to controls grown in a typical greenhouse soilless peat/perlite/sand mixture. No significant differences were seen in the yields of root biomass, measured as dry weights. No significant differences were seen in the phytochemical quality of the roots, as measured by the concentration of chlorogenic acid. Variability in the concentration of chlorogenic acid appeared to be lower in roots from the aeroponically-grown plants, indicating the possibility of improving phytochemical consistency using this horticultural technology. The feasibility of producing raw materials for the herbal dietary supplement industry in Native American communities and on reservations was also examined. Research exploring the use of a matched savings program called Individual Development Accounts indicated that low- and moderate-income Native American families are interested in becoming producers of herbal crops, using aeroponic and conventional horticultural technologies. This model of economic development for rural Native American populations may provide an example for integrating various tribal and federal programs with private enterprises to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for supplemental farm-based and home-based income. Finally, the feasibility of introducing a line of Native American branded products into the herbal dietary supplement market was tested. The results of this research indicate that this industry is an appropriate venue for adding value to agricultural products through the imagery and association of Native American culture, providing the consumer is convinced of the authenticity of the products. This multi-pronged, interdisciplinary approach to the commercialization of new agricultural crops, particularly those targeting niche consumer groups, could be transferred to other agricultural products.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Arid Lands Resource Sciences