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Under-utilised crops and rural livelihoods: Bambara groundnut in Tanzania

Boulay, Basile; Khan, Rumman; Morrissey, Oliver


Basile Boulay

Oliver Morrissey


Indigenous crops are often neglected in development research, largely because they are grown in particular localities and only account for modest shares of agricultural production at a national level. This article aims to rectify this neglect with respect to the Bambara groundnut using a mixed methods study of farmers in Mtwara, Tanzania. The interest is in determining the importance of the crop in local production patterns and livelihoods, as well as potential levers for improved utilisation. Using the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods framework, we show that the crop is popular and recognised for its agronomic and nutritional properties. It is grown as an additional (or marginal) rather than main crop, with most growers reporting meeting consumption and food security needs as their primary motivation. The absence of markets constitutes a strong barrier towards sales of Bambara, and many farmers report being deterred from growing it for that reason.


Boulay, B., Khan, R., & Morrissey, O. (2021). Under-utilised crops and rural livelihoods: Bambara groundnut in Tanzania. Oxford Development Studies, 49(1), 88-103.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 29, 2020
Publication Date Jan 2, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2023
Journal Oxford Development Studies
Print ISSN 1360-0818
Electronic ISSN 1469-9966
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 1
Pages 88-103
Keywords Development; Geography, Planning and Development
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:; Published: 2020-10-29