Developing climate resilient agriculture through the development of minor crops - an example from bambara groundnut

Dr Sean Mayes, BamYIELD Programme Director
Presented a Paper at the Plant & Animal Genome Conference 2018
13 - 17 January 2018
Abstract :

Climate change is predicted to have major effects on the growing conditions in most countries of the world. Predictions in Europe suggest that increases in overall yields of major crops may be possible, partly driven by warmer and longer seasons and the opening up of new land for agriculture, such as in the Russian Steppes. However, even in such regions, the potential for far more extreme weather events is of concern. In the developing tropics, where the majority of future world population growth is expected, yields of staple crops may decrease, with increased incidences of drought and elevated temperatures exacerbating pest and disease problems.
For many parts of Africa, the paradigm of high input agriculture using genetically elite staple crops has failed to become established as it has in developed countries. Predicted climate change indicates major changes in rainfall across the continent, which are likely to strain the ability of these crops even further.
For low input agricultural systems which show resilience to major climate events, it makes sense to look back to species which are already grown (and accepted by farmers) at low levels, but which have important nutritional composition and stress resilience traits, both in the individual crops and also in the systems in which they are grown.
Bambara groundnut is a drought tolerant African legume which currently has limiting traits, but could be part of a more resilient agriculture in low input situations. The talk will describe our work to date and future plans for this legume.  

Authors :

Sean Mayes, Wai Kuan Ho, Presidor Kendabie, Hui Hui Chai, Aryo Feldman, Joseph Berchie, Michael Abberton, Satriyas Ilyas, Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, Festo Massawe and Sayed Azam-Ali

1. Plant and Crop Sciences, Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham
2. University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia
3. Crops For the Future, Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia
4. Genetic Resources Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria
5. Division of Seed Science and Technology, Dept of Agronomy and Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, Indonesia.
6. School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu Natal, Glenwood, Durban, South Africa
7. Crops Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
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