|Dr. Chin displays his hibiscus calyx harvest on campus|
|Guests and students tour hibiscus field at SUBR|
Baton Rouge, LA - SU Ag Center research impact was mentioned in the May 1, 2014, Volume 1, Issue 2 of the NIFA Ed-Facts, p.4. Kit Chin at Southern University Research and Extension Center, an 1890 land-grant university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, used funding from NIFA’s 1890 Research Capacity grant to study the roselle hibiscus. This plant, with its striking red calyx-enclosed fruits, could give Louisiana farmers a new niche crop that supports trade, local agriculture, and economic development. His research found roselle hibiscus accessions from Nigeria, Jamaica, and Senegal thrive in Louisiana’s climate. More than 65 farmers, homemakers, and retired church volunteers from various parishes attended the project director’s workshop and grew hibiscus in their home gardens. A 12-member roselle hibiscus grower’s cooperative also visited the lab.
One Ph.D. student, Ryan Nicolas, joined four Southern University business majors to develop a hibiscus business plan for Louisiana. The team placed third among 13 student groups presenting at the 2013 Opportunity Funding Corporation’s Venture Challenge. “This NIFA-funded project has given me the focus of my doctorate work,” Nicolas said. “Because Dr. Chin’s hibiscus research project received a NIFA grant, many doors of opportunity opened for me. I never thought I would be doing so many interesting things in science and entrepreneurship. It would not have happened if Dr. Chin had not been able to pursue his research goals.” The full publication is available online for download at:
The research project was funded by USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Ryan Nicolas is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Southern University focusing his dissertation research on roselle hibiscus under the supervision of Drs. Yadong Qi and Kit Chin.