ASSESSING THE LEVEL OF CULTIVATION AND UTILIZATION OF BAMBARA GROUNDNUT (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) IN THE SUMBRUNGU COMMUNITY OF BOLGATANGA, UPPER EAST REGION, GHANA
MM Akpalu1, IA Atubilla2 and D. Oppong-Sekyere1*
|Corresponding Author: D. Oppong-Sekyere, E-mail: [email protected]|
|Received: 10 May 2013 Accepted: 20 May 2013|
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A study was conducted in Sumbrungu, Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana to determine the level of cultivation and utilization of Bambara groundnut. A survey involving the use of both open-ended and close-ended questionnaires and also interviews were administered. A total of 30 Bambara groundnut farmers were selected. Houses were chosen depending on the concentration of Bambara groundnut farmers. Data was collected on the following; Sex distribution, number of acreages cultivated, household sizes, marketing and utilization, constraints in production and farmer management of the crop. Data collected were analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics; mainly percentages. It was observed that more people cultivated lower acreages of the crop; 40% of the farmers cultivated acreages of land between 1 and 2, 37% cultivated 3 and 4, 17% 5 and 6 and 6% between 7 acres and above. All (100%) farmers complained of attack of pests and diseases that destroyed the crop in the field of which they had no control measures. 17% of the farmers applied inorganic fertilizer whiles 83% did not apply any fertilizer at all. 33% of the farmers reported that they obtained yields of between 100kg-150kg/acre, whiles 7% had yield between 700kg/acre and above. The crop is used for the preparation of dishes such as ‘tubani’, ‘kose’ and snack as well as for traditional rites (funerals). 64% uses Bambara groundnut for performance of funeral rites, 33% for medicinal purposes and 3% for gifts. The study showed that constraints to Bambara groundnut production in the community are low yields, pests and disease control methods, lack of improved varieties since weevils attack stored seeds. Bambara groundnut has a lot of potential, especially in the Northern Ghana, thus, the need to research into ways of managing the crop, in terms of pests and diseases, storage methods and chemicals, so that farmers can boost its cultivation on large scale basis.