Report on mung bean field activities – Oct 17-Nov. 2, 2019 Mung bean (Vigna radiata L.): Protein-rich legume for diet diversification and malnutrition reduction in Senegal
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Lessons learned from the first round of mung bean cultivation from “Why mung bean for Senegal”. • Mung bean’s appealing quality for Senegal includes its quick and aggressive start, short season or early maturing (50-65 days from planting to harvest), its dual use for food and livestock feed, and high market value. • Mung bean is well adapted to Senegal’s climate and growing conditions include drought tolerance, and adaptation to marginal soils, relatively low nutrient requirements, and low management requirements. • Mung bean can be used as a food, livestock feed, or cover crop. As a food, dried beans (whole or split) may be consumed with staple crops such as rice or millet. Mung bean, thus, represents a major addition to the limited legume crops and supplement to cereal-based diets in Senegal. • Mung bean producers from Senegal’s river valley (floodplain recession), may have competitive advantage compared to those growing mung bean under rain-fed and/or irrigation regimes. This is due to the high water-holding capacity of the heavy clay soil. • Positive feedback on new/alternative crop (mung bean) as a means to diversify the cropping systems, add potential income to the household and contribute to dietary diversification of the community. • Positive feedback from women included the ease and desirability of mung bean harvest, food preparation, and utilization (taste good). • The meetings and field visits provided opportunity for the farmers to interact with each other, school officials, reginal and local facilitators and VT/CPI project leaders. Mung bean also provided a platform for all the stakeholders involved to discuss diet diversification and malnutrition reduction at the community level. • Overall, the excitement surrounding the introduction, production and consumption of mung bean in the St. Louis region of Senegal has been incredibly exciting and encouraging. • We observed no reservation or uncertainty on how to handle/manage a new and unfamiliar crop like mung bean.