Use patterns and perceptions about the attributes of Bambara groundnut (<i>Vigna subterranea </i>(L.) <i>Verdc</i>.) in Northern Ghana
The study aimed to investigate the use patterns and perceptions about the positive and negative attributes of the underutilised legume, Bambara groundnut in northern Ghana. A multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted to select 360 respondents consisting of 240 farmers, 60 consumers and 60 marketers and the responses analysed using descriptive statistics. From the results, positive judgments about the legume included that it: can be processed into many products (1.3); requires a small amount of fertilizer (1.4); is drought-tolerant (1.7); has high protein content/ very nutritious (1.8); tastes better than other legumes (1.8); and more profitable (1.8). However, respondents’ disagreements were with respect to the following: Bambara groundnut matures earlier compared with other legumes (2.3); and Bambara groundnut cooks faster than other legumes (2.7). Other challenges identified by the respondents were bloating of the stomach/constipation; irregular markets; and lack of capital and modern inputs for production and marketing. It is recommended that research be intensified around shortening the maturity period and reducing cooking time of the legume while farmers and marketers are supported with credit and modern inputs to scale up production. Lastly, farmers must be taught to take the production of the crop as a business if the crop is to be produced on a wider scale.
Keywords: Bambara groundnut, Perceptions, Use patterns, Northern Ghana
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