Submitted to: New Crops National Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2001
Publication Date: 7/2/2001
Citation: Fery, R.L. 2001. New opportunities in vigna [Abstract]. 5th National New Crops Symposium, Atlanta, Georgia. p. 28.
Technical Abstract: The genus Vigna contains several species that are of considerable 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 probably exceeds 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. would 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.