Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 195–214 | Cite as

On-farm practices, mapping, and uses of genetic resources of Kersting’s groundnut [Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal et Baudet] across ecological zones in Benin and Togo

  • Félicien Akohoué
  • Julia Sibiya
  • Enoch G. Achigan-DakoEmail author
Research Article


Enhancing orphan crops productivity in developing countries is of paramount importance to providing quality diets to the growing population as well as resilience options to smallholder farmers in order to adapt to climate change. However, the status of genetic resources diversity and the utilisation patterns of many orphan crops have been poorly investigated to inform breeding programs and management strategies. In this study, we assembled Kersting’s groundnut diversity, associated farmers’ knowledge and production systems across three ecological zones in Benin and Togo. We collected data through focus group discussions in 43 villages. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 300 farmers. Four cell analyses was performed using cropping areas and number of Kersting’s groundnut farmers as criteria. We conducted a comparative analysis of the Kersting’s groundnut utilisations and production systems across ecological zones. In total, 308 accessions of Kersting’s groundnut were collected using farmers’ criteria such as grain colour, grain size, maturity time, yield potential, medicinal properties and marketability. Farmers grouped the accessions into five landraces based solely on grain colour. All landraces were cultivated in the Sudanian zone while only three of them were found in the Guinean and Sudano-Guinean zones. Most of these landraces were produced by a few farmers on small cropping areas. The choice of landraces for production depended on local intention for production and different use categories across ecological zones. Up to 46.80% of decrease in cropping areas was observed in most zones due to specific production bottlenecks such as drought and diseases. We discuss our findings and suggest tailored actions including effective in situ and ex situ conservation strategies, germplasm collection and characterization in other countries where the crop is produced, development of new cultivars with farmers’ preferred traits and enhancement of the genetic base of the species.


Cultivar development Folk nomenclature Genetic resources conservation Landrace Macrotyloma geocarpum On-farm diversity 



This work was financially supported by New Alliance Trust. We are thankful to all Kersting’s groundnut farmers in Benin and northern Togo for their availability and willingness to share their knowledge. We are also grateful to local authorities for facilitating germplasm collection in their respective villages.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10722_2018_705_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 26 kb)


  1. Abeyasekera S (2005) Quantitative analysis approaches to qualitative data: why, when and how? In: Holland JD, Campbell J (eds) Methods in development research; combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. ITDG Publishing, Warwickshire, pp 97–106Google Scholar
  2. Achigan Dako EG, Vodouhè SR (2006) Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal & Baudet. In: Brink M, Belay G (eds) Plant resources of tropical Africa 1. Cereals and pulses. Backhuys Publishers CTA, PROTA, Wageningen, pp 111–114Google Scholar
  3. Adomou A (2005) Vegetation patterns and environmental gradients in Benin. Implications for biogeography and conservation. Wageningen University, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  4. Adu-Gyamfi R, Fearon J, Bayorbor T, Dzomeku I, Avornyo V (2011) The status of Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum [Harms] Marechal and Baudet): an underexploited legume in Northern Ghana. Outlook Agr 40:259–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ajayi OB, Oyetayo F (2009) Potentials of Kerstingiella geocarpa as a health food. J Med Food 12:184–187. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Akoègninou A, Van der Burg W, Van der Maesen LJG (2006) Flore analytique du Bénin, vol 06.2. Backhuys Publishers, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  7. Aremu M, Osinfade B, Basu S, Ablaku B (2011) Development and nutritional quality evaluation of Kersting’s groundnut-ogi for African weaning diet. Am J Food Technol 6:1021–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Assogba P, Ewedje E-EBK, Dansi A, Loko YL, Adjatin A, Dansi M, Sann A (2016) Indigenous knowledge and agro-morphological evaluation of the minor crop Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal et Baudet) cultivars of Benin. Genet Resour Crop Evol 635:513–529. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Aworh OC (2015) Promoting food security and enhancing Nigeria’s small farmers’ income through value-added processing of lesser-known and under-utilized indigenous fruits and vegetables. Food Res Int 76:986–991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ayenan MAT, Ezin VA (2016) Potential of Kersting’s groundnut [Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal & Baudet] and prospects for its promotion. Agric Food Secur 5:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Badii BK, Adarkwah C, Obeng-Ofori D, Ulrichs C (2014) Efficacy of diatomaceous earth formulations against Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) in Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum Harms): influence of dosage rate and relative humidity. J Pest Sci 87:285–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Baldermann S et al (2016) Are neglected plants the food for the future? Crit Rev Plant Sci 35:106–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cullis C, Kunert KJ (2017) Unlocking the potential of orphan legumes. J Exp Bot 68:1895–1903Google Scholar
  14. Curran J (2012) The nutritional value and health benefits of pulses in relation to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Br J Nutr 108:S1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dalrymple DG (1986) Development and spread of high-yielding rice varieties in developing countries. International Rice Research Institute, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  16. Dansi A et al (2012) Diversity of the neglected and underutilized crop species of importance in Benin. Sci World J 2012:932947Google Scholar
  17. Daryanto S, Wang L, Jacinthe P-A (2016) Global synthesis of drought effects on cereal, legume, tuber and root crops production: a review. Agric Water Manag 179:16Google Scholar
  18. Di Falco S, Chavas J-P (2006) Crop genetic diversity, farm productivity and the management of environmental risk in rainfed agriculture. Eur Rev Agric Econ 33:289–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ebert AW (2014) Potential of underutilized traditional vegetables and legume crops to contribute to food and nutritional security, income and more sustainable production systems. Sustainability 6:319–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. FAO (2017) Regional overview of food security and nutrition in Africa 2017. The food security and nutrition–conflict nexus: building resilience for food security, nutrition and peace. FAO, AccraGoogle Scholar
  21. Fousseni F, Madjouma K, Dieudonné GY, Li PD, Hai ZX, Koffi A (2014) Global overview of flora and plant diversity in Togo (West Africa). J life Sci Res 1:24–30Google Scholar
  22. Harlan JR (1971) Agricultural origins: centers and noncenters. Science 174:468–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoffman B, Gallaher T (2007) Importance indices in ethnobotany. ERA 5:201–218Google Scholar
  24. Hummer KE, Hancock JF (2015) Vavilovian centers of plant diversity: implications and impacts. HortScience 50:780–783Google Scholar
  25. INSAE (2015) RGPH4: Que retenir des effectifs de population en 2013 ?. Institut National de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Economique, CotonouGoogle Scholar
  26. Iwanaga M (1996) IPGRI strategy for in situ conservation of agricultural biodiversity. In: DSE/ATSAF/IPGRI workshop in situ conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in developing countries, Bonn (Germany), 2–4 May 1995. IPGRIGoogle Scholar
  27. Jambo N (2017) The impact of government spending on agricultural growth: a case of Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania. Stellenbosch University, StellenboschGoogle Scholar
  28. Khasbagan, Soyolt (2008) Indigenous knowledge for plant species diversity: a case study of wild plants’ folk names used by the Mongolians in Ejina desert area, Inner Mongolia, P. R. China. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 4:2. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kouris-Blazos A, Belski R (2016) Health benefits of legumes and pulses with a focus on Australian sweet lupins. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 25:1–17Google Scholar
  30. Last L et al (2014) Indicators for the on-farm assessment of crop cultivar and livestock breed diversity: a survey-based participatory approach. Biodivers Conserv 23:3051–3071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mayes S, Massawe F, Alderson P, Roberts J, Azam-Ali S, Hermann M (2011) The potential for underutilized crops to improve security of food production. J Exp Bot 63:1075–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mohammed M, Sowley E, Dakora F (2015) Symbiotic N2 fixation, C assimilation and water-use efficiency (WUE) of five Rhizobium-inoculated Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum) landraces measured using 15N and 13C isotopic techniques. S Afr J Bot 98:192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mohammed M, Sowley E, Dakora F (2016) Variations in N2 fixation of field-grown Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum) landraces in response to inoculation with two Bradyrhizobium strains in the northern region of Ghana. S Afr J Bot 103:333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. MPDAT (2011) Recensement général de la population et de l’habitat (06 au 21 Novembre 2010). Résultats définitifs. LoméGoogle Scholar
  35. Padulosi S, Thompson J, Rudebjer P (2013) Fighting poverty, hunger and malnutrition with neglected and underutilized species: needs, challenges and the way forward. Bioversity International, RomeGoogle Scholar
  36. Pasquet R, Mergeai G, Baudoin J-P (2002) Genetic diversity of the African geocarpic legume Kersting’s groundnut, Macrotyloma geocarpum (Tribe Phaseoleae: Fabaceae). Biochem Syst Ecol 30:943–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. R Core Team (2017) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. Accessed 27 Jan 2018
  38. Rana RB, Sthapit BR, Garforth C, Subedi A, Jarvis DI (2005) Four-cell analysis as a decision-making tool for conservation of agrobiodiversity on-farm. In: Sthapit BR, Upadhyay MP, Shrestha PK, Jarvis DI (eds) On-farm conservation of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal, vol 2. IPGRI, Rome, pp 15–24Google Scholar
  39. Rao VR, Hodgkin T (2002) Genetic diversity and conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 68:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schroeder C, Onyango TKO, Nar RB, Jick N, Parzies H, Gemenet D (2013) Potentials of hybrid maize varieties for small-holder farmers in Kenya: a review based on Swot analysis. Afr J Food Agric Nutr, Dev, p 13Google Scholar
  41. Sthapit B et al (2006) Participatory four cell analysis (FCA) for local crop diversity. In: Sthapit B, Shrestha P, Upadhyay M (eds) On-farm management of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal: Good practices, vol 260. LI-BIRD, Nepal, pp 13–16Google Scholar
  42. Tadele Z (2017) Raising crop productivity in Africa through intensification. Agronomy 7:22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ugulu I (2012) Fidelity Level and knowledge of medicinal plants used to make therapeutic Turkish baths. Stud Ethno Med 6:1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Van Dusen E (2005) Understanding the factors driving on farm crop genetic diversity: empirical evidence from Mexico. In: Cooper J, Lipper LM, Zilberman D (eds) Agricultural biodiversity and biotechnology in economic development. Springer, Boston, pp 127–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Dusen ME, Taylor JE (2005) Missing markets and crop diversity: evidence from Mexico. Environ Dev Econ 10:513–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vavilov NI, Dorofeev VF (1992) Origin and geography of cultivated plants. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Whaanga H, Papa W, Wehi P, Roa T (2013) The use of the Māori language in species nomenclature. J Mar Isl Cult 2:78–84. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wickham H (2016) ggplot2: elegant graphics for data analysis. Springer, HoustonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhukovsky P (1975) World gene pool of plants for breeding: mega-gene-centres and endemic micro-gene-centres. USSR Academy of Sciences, LeningradGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seed Science, Faculty of Agronomic SciencesUniversity of Abomey-CalaviCotonouRepublic of Benin
  2. 2.School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalP. Bag X01, Scottsville 3201, PietermaritzburgRepublic of South Africa

Personalised recommendations