KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The ‘Tibish’ (scientific name: cucumis melo flexuosus) is a crawling vegetable fruity plant that belongs to the ‘Cucumis’ category. It is locally called ‘Tibish’ in Sudanese Arabic, while it is being given different names in various Arab countries. For example, it is called ‘Fagoos’ in Tunisia and Morocco, ‘Gatta’ in Egypt, ‘Khayar ta’aroozi’ in Iraq and ‘Githa’a’ in some parts of Arabia.
“Tibish” is easy to cultivate as it grows intensively, especially during rainy season. It is considered as delicious appetizer, and is either consumed raw or marinated.
Chopped “Tibish’ slices, marinated in a mixture of peanut paste and red pepper powder, are commonly sold as ‘fast food’ at street-vending food outlets around colleges and schools in Sudan.
Tibish may be grown all over the year on river banks where crop harvesting is usually due after 45 days of seed cultivation. Western Sudan, White Nile, Kordufan, Darfur and Gezira regions are most notable cultivation sites of Tibish.
Dr. Altahir Ibrahim Mohammed, a researcher at the agricultural research corporation, told Sudanow that great attention has recently been devoted to the cultivation of Tibish in order to fill in the nutritional gap, because Tibish contains some vitamins, especially Vitamins A, B and C, and essential minerals such as calcium, phosphor and iron.
Tibish has medicinal value as well, since it helps to purify blood circulation as it accelerates the melting of acids and salts within the body, and is also used as diuretic, anti-toxicant, intestinal-tranquilizer, jaundice-cure, anti-hemorrhage and anti-gout treatment. Furthermore, Tibish is a very effective cure for stomach and colon infections and it greatly helps to reduce blood cholesterol level.
On cosmetic level, Tibish may also be used as efficient tuning treatment for facial and dermal wrinkles and shrivels.
Dr. Yassir Omarain, farming expert and vegetation professor at the Wadi Elneel University, explained to Sudanow that Tibish is being cultivated in many styles. It is usually cultivated along two-meter-wide contours or in basins. The soil is prepared by adding organic fertilizer on basis of 15 cubic metre per acre. One sack of urea is usually added at initial growth stage after removal of unwanted plants in the cultivation pit, and another sack of urea added at flowering stage.
Dr. Altahir Ibrahim added that Tibish, like other vegetable crops, generates a relatively higher return as compared to some other farm crops, in addition to its notable health and medicinal value. It is one of the main crops advised by rural development programmers for women’s near-home farms.
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