Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 6, 2002
Publication Date: April 10, 2002
Citation: FERY, R.L. 2002. New opportunities in Vigna. In: Janick, J., Whipkey, A., editors. Trends in New Crops and New Uses. Alexandria, VA: ASHS Press. p.424-428. Technical Abstract: The genus Vigna contains several species that are of economic importance in many developing countries. Cowpeas, mung beans, and urd beans are key dietary staples for many millions of people. Additionally, adzuki beans, bambara groundnuts, mat beans, and rice beans are important in the diets of many societies. Annual worldwide production of these species likely approaches 20 million hectares, and virtually all of this production is in developing countries. Except for cowpeas, which were heavily researched in the U.S. early in the 20th century, there has been little research on any of the Vigna species until recent decades. Although there are appreciable efforts in the international research arena at present directed towards cowpeas and mung beans, many of the Vigna species are still largely ignored by the scientific community. All of the economic Vigna species have potential for introduction or increased production in the U.S. The introduction or expansion of the culture of Vigna species in the U.S. woul create new opportunities and provide alternative crops for American farmers, give American consumers access to new and novel foods, and increase the bio-diversity of crops used in American agriculture.