Castor is a perennial crop but is grown for economic purpose. The crop is cultivated around the world for its non-edible oilseed.
The presence of hydroxyl fatty acid known as ricinoleic acid makes castor oil unique among other seed oils. Castor oil is also distinguished from other vegetable oils by its high specific gravity and thickness thus making it amenable for a number of uses; soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks,...
Castor meal, the byproduct of the oil extraction process is mainly used as fertiliser.