Skip to main content


  • N'. J. KOUASSI (a1) and I. A. ZORO BI (a1)

Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) is one of the most promising food legumes in Africa, due to its agronomic and nutritional potential. To take advantage of these attributes, several research programmes gathering agronomic and genetic data are being implemented throughout Africa. In this context, the response of yield and yield components to sowing density and seedbed type were tested in a three-year (2005, 2006 and 2007) field experiment using a bambara groundnut landrace with a semi-bunch growth habit. Three plant population densities: 13 900 plants ha−1, 62 500 plants ha−1 and 250 000 plants ha−1 were coupled with two seedbed types – raised and flat. A factorial trial using a split-plot design with three replicates was set up to analyse seed yield and plant biomass, as well as nine yield components. Sowing density influenced significantly (p < 0.05) seed yield (direct relationship) and most of the yield components (inverse relationship). The highest seed yields were observed on high-density plots (4.11 ± 1.05 ha−1). In contrast, seedbed type and year of experiment did not influence significantly the marketable yield and plant biomass (p > 0.05). This result has been attributed to the suitability of the amount and distribution of rainfall and temperature for the production of bambara groundnut at the target site. Based on the trend of yield response, cultivation of landraces of bambara groundnut characterized by a semi-bunch growth habit at high density on flat seedbeds was suggested in woodland savannas of Côte d'Ivoire to enhance seeds yield and reduce labour.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mails: and
Hide All
Adjetey, J. A. and Ayihi, S. K. (1999). A study on water requirements of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc) grown in the Accra Plains. Journal of the Ghana Science Association 2: 6973.
Ameyaw, M. V. and Doku, E. V. (1983). Effects of soil moisture stress on the reproductive efficiency and yield of bambara groundnut (Vondzeia subterranea). Tropical Grain Legume Bulletin 28: 2329.
Awadhwal, N. K. and Thierstein, G. E. (1985). Soil crust and its impact on crop establishment: a review. Soil and Tillage Research 5: 289302.
Azam-Ali, S. N., Sesay, A., Karikari, S. K., Massawe, F. J., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J., Bannayan, M. and Hampson, K. J. (2001). Assessing the potential of an underulized crop: a case study using bambara groundnut. Experimental Agriculture 37: 433472.
Bahr, A. A. (2007). Effect of plant density and urea foliar application on yield and yield components of chickpea (Cicer arietinum). Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 3: 220223.
Bresson, L. M. (1995). A review of physical management for crusting control in Australian cropping systems: research opportunities. Australian Journal of Soil Research 33: 195209.
Brink, M. (1999). Development, growth and dry matter partitioning in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) as influenced by photoperiod and shading. Journal of Agricultural Science 133: 159166.
Chandrasekaran, R., Somasundaram, E., Amanullah, M. M., Thirukumaran, K. and Sathyamoorthi, K. (2007). Influence of varieties and plant spacing on the growth and yield of confectionery groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 3: 525528.
Collinson, S. T., Clawson, E. J., Azam-Ali, S. N. and Black, C. R. (1997). Effect of soil moisture deficits on the water relations of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.). Journal of Experimental Botany 48: 877884.
Collinson, S. T., Sibuga, K. P., Tarimo, A. J. P. and Azam-Ali, S. N. (2000). Influence of sowing date on the growth and yield of bambara groundnut landraces in Tanzania. Experimental Agriculture 36: 113.
Cornelissen, R. L. E. J. (2005). Modelling variation in the physiology of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.). PhD thesis. Cranfield University at Silsoe, UK.
Djè, Y., Bonny, B. S. and Zoro Bi, I. A. (2005). Observations préliminaires de la variabilité entre quelques morphotypes de voandzou (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc., Fabaceae) de Côte d'Ivoire. Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment 9: 249259.
Doku, E. V. (1968). Flowering, pollination and pod formation in bambara groundnut (Voandzeia subterranea) in Ghana. Experimental Agriculture 4: 4148.
Duke, J. A., Okigbo, B. N., Reed, C. F. and Weder, J. K. P. (1977). Voandzeia subterranea (L.) Thouars. Tropical Grain Legume Bulletin 10: 811.
Dunbar, A. R. (1969). Bambara groundnut (Voandzeia subterranea). In The Annual Crops of Uganda, Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau.
Echarte, L., Luque, S., Andrate, F. H., Sadras, V. O., Cirilo, A., Otegui, M. E. and Vega, C. R. C. (2000). Response of maize kernel number to plant density in Argentinean hybrids released between 1965 and 1963. Field Crops Research 68: 18.
Elia, F. M. and Mwandemele, O. D. (1986). The effect of water deficit droughts on some plant characters in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea Thouars). Tropical Grain Legume Bulletin 33: 4550.
FAO (1996). Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Prepared for the International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources Leipzig, Germany 17–23 June 1996. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Heller, J., Begemann, F. and Mushonga, J. (Eds) (1997). Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.). Promoting the Conservation and the Use of Underutilized and Neglected Crops: 9. Proceedings of the Workshop on Conservation and Improvement of Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.). Rome: IPGRI.
Idris, A. L. Y. (2008). Effect of seed size and plant spacing on yield and yield components of faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences 4: 146148.
IPGRI, IITA, BAMNET. 2000. Descriptors for Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea). International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria; The International Bambara Groundnut Network, Germany.
Jollife, P. A. and Gaye, M.-M. (1995). Dynamics of growth and yield component responses of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) to row covers and population density. Scienta Horticulturae 62: 153164.
Karikari, S. H., Chaba, O. and Molosiwa, B. (1999). Effects of intercropping bambara groundnut on pearl millet, sorghum and maize in Botswana African Crop Science Journal 7: 143152.
Karikari, S. K. and Tabona, T. T. (2004). Constitutive traits and selective indices of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L) Verdc) landraces for drought tolerance under Botswana conditions. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 29: 10291034.
Massawe, F. J., Azam-Ali, S. N. and Roberts, J. A. (2003). The impact of temperature on leaf appearance in bambara groundnut landraces. Crop Science 43: 13751379.
Massawe, F. J., Mwale, S. S., Azam-Ali, S. N. and Roberts, J. A. (2005). Breeding in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.): strategic considerations. African Journal of Biotechnology 4: 463471.
Minka, S. R. and Bruneteau, M. (2000). Partial chemical composition of bambara pea (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc). Food Chemistry 68: 273276.
Mkandawire, F. L. (2007). Review of bamabara groundnut (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc.) production in sub-Sahara Africa. Agricultural Journal 2: 464470.
Mkandawire, F. L. and Sibuga, K. P. (2002). Yield response of bambara groundnut to plant population and seedbed type. African Crop Science Journal 10: 3949.
Mpotokwane, S. M., Gaditlhatlhelwe, E., Sebaka, A. and Jideani, V. A. (2008). Physical properties of bambara groundnuts from Botswana. Journal of Food Engineering 89: 9398.
Mwale, S. S., Azam-Ali, S. N. and Massawe, F. J. (2007). Growth and development of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) in response to soil moisture: 1. Dry matter and yield. European Journal of Agronomy 26: 345353.
Neumann, A., Schmidtke, K. and Rauber, R. (2007). Effects of crop density and tillage system on grain yield and N uptake from soil and atmosphere of sole and intercropped pea and oat. Field Crops Research 100: 285293.
Obagwu, J. (2003). Control of brown blotch of bambara groundnut with garlic extract and benomyl Phytoparasitica 31: 207209.
Ofori, I. (1996). Correlation and path-coefficient analysis of components of seed yield in bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea). Euphytica 91: 103107.
Oliveira, J. S. (1976). Grain legume of Mozambique. Tropical Grain Legume Bulletin 3: 1315.
Ouedraogo, M., Ouedraogo, J. T., Tignere, J. B., Bilma, D., Dabire, C. B. and Konate, G. (2008). Characterization and evaluation of accessions of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdcourt) from Burkina Faso. Science and Nature 5: 191197.
SAS (2004). SAS for Windows. Cary (NC, USA): SAS Institute Inc.
Sesay, A. (2009). Influence of flooding on bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L.) germination: effect of temperature, duration and timing. African Journal of Agricultural Research 4: 100106.
Sesay, A., Magagula, C. N. and Mansuetus, A. B. (2008). Influence of sowing date and environmental factors on the development and yield of bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) landraces in a sub-tropical region. Experimental Agriculture 4: 167183.
Thottappilly, G. and Rossel, H. W. (1997). Identification and characterization of viruses infecting bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) in Nigeria. International Journal of Pest Management 43: 177185.
Turk, M. A., Tawaha, A. M. and El-Shatnawi, M. K. J. (2003). Response of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) to plant density, sowing date, phosphorus fertilization and ethephon application in the absence of moisture stress. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 189: 16.
Valenciano, J. B., Casquero, P. A., Boto, J. A. and Guerra, M. (2006). Effect of sowing techniques and seed pesticide application on dry bean yield and harvest components. Field Crops Research 96: 212.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Experimental Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0014-4797
  • EISSN: 1469-4441
  • URL: /core/journals/experimental-agriculture
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed