Pulse crops for sustainable farms in sub-Saharan Africa.
This document reports on a literature review that assessed promising pulse options to safeguard food security, nutrition and environment conservation on African smallholder farms. Primary target is the five legume crops grown most widely in sub-Saharan Africa, namely common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), chickpea (Cicer arietinum), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), and pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan). Agroecological zones are used as a structure for this review. The identification of legume crops and management systems was carried out in relationship to farming system niches, from the arid tropics to the humid tropics. Major extension and research opportunities and gaps were also identified using this framework. Finally, this review describes recommended options for promoting use of legume crops and adjusting government policies. The review is part of the legacy of the International Year of Pulses, which sought to recognize the contribution that pulses make to human well-being and the environment.