Progress in bambara groundnut research in Ghana: breeding, agronomy and utilization
Bambara groundnut is an underutilized crop, and has high potential for the attainment of food security and poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a drought- and heat-tolerant crop, with high nutritional qualities. In recent times, efforts have been made to improve the productivity and utilization of the crop. A number of crop performance studies have been carried out to evaluate both local and exotic germplasm for biotic and abiotic stresses. These include (i) germplasm collection and evaluation, (ii) genetic improvement through mutation breeding, (iii) biotechnological approaches to shorten the generation cycle, (iv) performance of the first ever successfully crossed bambara groundnuts, (v) evaluation for heat and drought tolerance, (vi) evaluation of other agronomic and physiological traits including sowing date, response to photoperiod, seed priming, early maturity, and (vii) determination of physico-chemical composition and key functional properties to harness potential in food product development. Results from these studies indicated that varietal differences are observed in terms of heat and drought tolerance and response to photoperiod. Among the landraces evaluated, the landrace 'Burkina' exhibited drought and heat tolerance, with pod yield of 1.2 t ha-1 under heat treatment. 'Zebra Coloured' was the earliest maturing genotype. Percent crude protein and fat ranged from 21.8 to 24.0% and from 4.34 to 6.07%, respectively. Early-maturing landraces were observed to be less sensitive to photoperiod. Superior genotypes with respect to agronomic traits and physico-chemical composition will be evaluated further on farmers' fields with a view to releasing cultivars for use by farmers and other end-users.
Adu-Dapaah, H., Berchie, J.N., Amoah, S., Addo, J.K. and Akuamoah-Boateng, M. (2016). Progress in bambara groundnut research in Ghana: breeding, agronomy and utilization. Acta Hortic. 1127, 1-8
Vigna subterranea, photoperiod, seed priming, sowing date