Production potential of hibiscus Cannabinus L. In marginal lands of tropical regions

Berta Cumbane, I. Alves, A. Mata, Leandro Gomes, Jorge Costa, F. Zanetti, A. Monti, E. Alexopoulou, Ana Luísa Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Marginal lands are considered unsuitable for agricultural production or with low potential for food or non-food crops production due to their physical, soil-climatic, environmental and/or economic constraints such as poor drainage, low soil moisture, acidity or alkalinity, susceptibility to erosion, soil nutrient content, heavy metal contamination, among others. Soils that have these characteristics can cause negative damage to the ecosystem in general, with a consequent impact on crop productivity and human health. The cultivation of crops that are tolerant to marginal soils can provide a feedstock for bioenergy, biofuels or bioproducts and offers a double opportunity: Land reclamation and economical exploitation of the produced biomass, which may bring an additional income to farmers. Thus, this work aims to analyze the growth, productivity and biomass quality of kenaf on marginal soils in Mozambique. The study was performed in pots and under different sandy soils with different characteristics (two different poor sandy soils, a landfill soil, a sandy soil contaminated with Zn, 450 mg/kg, and a sandy soil contaminated with Pb, 450 mg/kg). Results indicate that kenaf yielded an average of 1044 g/m2 on the two sandy soils. Yields obtained in soils contaminated with Zn did not differ significantly from the two control-marginal sandy soils, indicating that the Zn contamination did not affect the yield. Yet, the sandy soil contaminated with Pb reduced the kenaf yields significantly, namely by 70%. Contrarily, the landfill sandy soil promoted a significant growth of kenaf, increasing 150%. This was due to the leachates rich in nutrients that helped to nourish the kenaf plants. This indicates that this crop can be used to cover landfill sites and their root system can absorb and phytodepurate the produced leachates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event29th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Apr 202129 Apr 2021


  • Energy crops
  • Heavy metals
  • Kenaf
  • Land use
  • Polluted soil


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