Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus probably native to West Africa, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion, in which it may be known as carcade (Roselle Encyclopædia Britannica). It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems. The flowers are 8–10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout fleshy calyx at the base, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, enlarging to 3–3.5 cm (1.2–1.4 in), fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures. They take about six months to mature. The plant grows in many tropical and sub-tropical countries and is one of highest volume specialty botanical products in international commerce. Roselle is an annual herbaceous shrub of the Malvaceae family with more than 300 species. Most varieties are used in a diverse number of ways: from herbal tea to juices, jellies, jams, ice cream, flavors, and the fabrication of paper. The main producers and exporters of dried hibiscus products are Sudan, Thailand, China, Mexico, and Nigeria. Other smaller producing nations are Egypt, Senegal, Tanzania, Mali, and Jamaica. In Uganda, though Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as Roselle, grows in the wild, it is domesticated in some parts of Northern and Central Uganda as a traditional vegetable. Many farmers are growing it on medium to large scale but still its economic potential as a poverty reduction enterprise is underemphasized especially among smallholder farmers.
The study on Roselle-Hibiscus Production and Marketing in Uganda was undertaken to get an overview on the production and processing system and the market chains of hibiscus in the areas of study with an overarching goal of using the information to leverage Roselle-Hibiscus Production and Marketing to Increase Household Incomes for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda. Further the study provides a deeper insight in the social and economic backgrounds of the people involved in Roselle-hibiscus local supply chains.