Tropical Grain Legumes in Africa and South Asia: Knowledge and Opportunities

Abate, T and Alene, A.D and Bergvinson, D and Shiferaw, B and Silim, S and Orr, A and Asfaw, S (2012) Tropical Grain Legumes in Africa and South Asia: Knowledge and Opportunities. Monograph. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Nairobi, Kenya.

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There are about 30 species of economically important legumes grown in the tropics (Baldev et al. 1988; Raemaekers 2001; Gowda et al 2007). Among the major ones are chickpea (Cicer arietinum), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), and soybean (Glycine max). Others that are important in one or other regions of the tropics include faba bean (Vicia faba), lentil (Lens culinaris), field pea (Pisum sativum), Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea), hyacinth bean (Lablab purpurea – also known as Dolichos lablab), Kerting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum), lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus), yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa), mung bean or green gram (Vigna radiata), black gram or black bean (Vigna mungo), moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia), rice bean (Vigna umbellata), and horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum). More than 101 million households (HH) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and 39 million HH in South Asia (SA) grow one or more of the major tropical legumes for food security, income generation, improved nutrition, and maintaining soil fertility. An estimated 27 million ha in SSA and 40 million ha in SA are planted to these crops each year; annual production is estimated at about 19 million metric tons (MT) in SSA and 30 million MT in SA, valued at about US$ 9.3 billion and US$ 15.1 billion, respectively. Despite their importance, investment in tropical legumes research and development has been low. However, this situation has been changing for the better in recent years. The Tropical Legumes II project (TL II), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers in SSA and SA through improved productivity and production of the six major grain legumes mentioned above. Improved systems and partnership approaches between national programs and CG centers have shown positive changes in some countries (Abate et al 2011) that could serve as examples of good practice.

Item Type: Monograph (Monograph)
Subjects: Mandate crops > Chickpea
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Mandate crops > Groundnut
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 04:31
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2012 04:33
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