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Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc.) Production, Utilisation and Genetic Improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • majola, nomathemba gloria
  • gerrano, abe shegro
  • shimelis, hussein
Publication Date
Jun 30, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/agronomy11071345
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Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc.) is a nutritionally rich grain legume crop indigenous to Africa. It is tolerant to drought stress and has become adapted to grow under low input and marginal agricultural production systems in Africa and Asia. Bambara groundnut is an orphan crop, and represents a neglected and under researched plant genetic resource. Modern crop management, production technologies, and value chains are yet to be developed in Africa to achieve the potential economic gains from Bambara groundnut production and marketing. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) the production and productivity of Bambara groundnut is low and stagnant because of diverse abiotic and biotic stresses and socio-economic constraints. Improved crop management and post handling technologies, modern varieties with high yield and nutritional quality, value addition, and market access are among the key considerations in current and future Bambara groundnut research and development programs. This paper presents progress on Bambara groundnut production, utilization, and genetic improvement in SSA. It presents the key production constraints, genetic resources and analysis, breeding methods and genetic gains on yield, and nutritional quality and outlook. The information presented will guide the sustainable production and effective breeding of the crop in order to pursue food and nutrition security, and improve livelihoods through Bambara groundnut enterprises.

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