Evaluation of five bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea
(L.) Verdc.) landraces to heat and drought stress at
Tono-Navrongo, Upper East Region of Ghana
N. Berchie1*, M. Opoku2, H.
A. Agyemang1, J. Sarkodie-Addo3, E.
and H. Akuffo4
Research Institute, P. O. Box 3785, Kumasi, Ghana.
of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) Nkoransa District, Nkoransa-Ghana.
of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi-Ghana.
Company of Upper East Region (ICOUR), Tono-Navrongo, Ghana.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
26 July, 2011
The need to obtain crop varieties that are tolerant to heat
and drought cannot be overemphasised especially with the
threat of climate change to agricultural productivity in
sub-Saharan Africa. Bambara groundnut has been identified as
a drought tolerant crop; however, variations exist among
landraces with respect to drought tolerance. An experiment
was therefore conducted to evaluate the performance of five
bambara groundnut landraces: Black eye, Burkina, NAV 4, NAV
Red and Tom, to drought and heat stress, at the Irrigation
Company of Upper East Region (ICOUR) at Tono-Navrongo in the
Upper East Region of Ghana. The experiment was arranged in a
Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. The
heat trial was irrigated once weekly to field capacity until
crop maturity. The drought trial was irrigated once weekly
until 30 DAS, after which irrigation ceased. Burkina, a
landrace from Burkina Faso produced the highest pod yield of
1.2 t/ha under the heat treatment. Tom did not produce any
pod yield. Under drought, Burkina exhibited the greatest
root dry weight and leaf area at 120 DAS, and had the
longest leaf area duration (LAD). Burkina exhibited bunch
canopy architecture, while NAV 4, NAV Red, and Black eye had
an intermediate canopy type and Tom a spreading type.
Burkina proved the most drought and heat tolerant among the
five landraces evaluated. Though a drought tolerant crop,
temperatures beyond 38°C and low relative humidity can
negatively affect pod yield of bambara groundnut even when
irrigation is provided. It is important to test the
performance of a crop under a new environment before money
is invested into its production in that environment.
Key words: Bambara groundnut, drought, heat stress,
irrigation, pod yield.