Original Research

Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L.): A climate-resilient crop to address food and nutritional security

Md Mahmudul H. Khan, Mohd Y. Rafii, Shairul I. Ramlee, Mashitah Jusoh, Md Al-Mamun
Journal of Underutilised Crops Research | Vol 3, No 1 | a2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jucr.v3i1.2 | © 2024 Md Mahmudul H. Khan, Mohd Y. Rafii, Shairul I. Ramlee, Mashitah Jusoh, Md Al-Mamun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 September 2022 | Published: 30 March 2024

About the author(s)

Md Mahmudul H. Khan, Department of Genetics and Breeding, Laboratory of Climate-Smart Food Crop Production, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Food Security (ITAFoS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia Department of Oil-crops Breeding, Faculty of Plant Breeding, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Gazipur, Bangladesh
Mohd Y. Rafii, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Climate-Smart Food Crop Production, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Food Security (ITAFoS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia
Shairul I. Ramlee, Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia
Mashitah Jusoh, Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia
Md Al-Mamun, Department of Genetics and Breeding, Laboratory of Climate-Smart Food Crop Production, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Food Security (ITAFoS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract

Background: The climate change challenges coupled with global agricultural policies currently emphasise only a few crop species, which directs the threat to food security and supply.

Aim: This review comprehensively delves into the potential of Bambara groundnut as a catalyst for enhancing the nutritional composition of diets.

Setting: Regrettably, this emphasis has led to a dearth of knowledge and attention about alternative crops, particularly those that may be advantageous for sustainable agriculture. Bambara groundnut is one such crop that requires particularly low agricultural inputs.

Methods: Our exploration encompasses various dimensions, including the crop’s genetic diversity, production dynamics, its socio-economic importance, and ongoing efforts in genetic improvement.

Results: Bambara groundnut stands out as a nutrient-rich source, providing essential nutrients, including carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, and fatty acids. Its nutritional profile holds great potential for combating malnutrition and fostering growth, especially in economically disadvantaged regions with limited access to animal proteins. Furthermore, the crop displays resilience, showing relatively low susceptibility to diseases and insect infestations.

Conclusion: Bambara groundnut holds importance in addressing food and nutritional security amid the prevailing challenges of climate change. In common with other neglected crops, there exists insufficient information on contemporary cultivation methods and unfavourable traits such as prolonged cooking times. To ensure the prosperity of the crop for future generations, it is imperative to enhance these attributes through breeding techniques and refining processing procedures.

Contribution: This review contributes by highlighting the distinctive features of Bambara groundnut and elucidating effective strategies to unlock its full potential.


Keywords

Vigna subterranea L.; underutilised legume; climate smart crop; resilient crop; nutritional security

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