Journal of Food Security
ISSN (Print): 2372-0115 ISSN (Online): 2372-0107 Website: Editor-in-chief: Monideepa Becerra
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Food Security. 2016, 4(6), 126-130
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-4-6-1
Open AccessArticle

Physiology of Legume Grain in Informal Markets Used As Seed: Implications for Food and Nutrition Security

Ncube O.1, Ndlovu E1 and Maphosa M1,

1Lupane State University, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Box AC255, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Pub. Date: November 01, 2016

Cite this paper:
Ncube O., Ndlovu E and Maphosa M. Physiology of Legume Grain in Informal Markets Used As Seed: Implications for Food and Nutrition Security. Journal of Food Security. 2016; 4(6):126-130. doi: 10.12691/jfs-4-6-1


Grain legumes are a key source of nitrogen-rich edible seeds, providing a wide variety of high-protein products that constitute the major source of protein in the diets of the poor within the smallholder farming sector in Zimbabwe. However, low yields are realised in these legumes due to a variety of reasons that include poor quality planting material, biotic and abiotic factors. Understanding of physiology of legume grain in local markets will bring to light the planting worth of grain from these self pollinated crops and help to strengthen approaches to improve legume yield culminating in food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers particularly in drought prone Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe. The objectives of this study were to evaluate grain of selected legumes from local markets for physiological attributes critical for crop establishment and to assess the emergence of legume grain from local markets under field conditions. The experimental design adopted was a two-factorial in a Randomised Complete Block Design. Treatments in the experiment comprised of four legume species, Arachis hypogea, Vigna unguiculata, Vigna subterrenea, Phaseolus vulgaris and four markets around the city of Bulawayo which is the key market in Matabeleland region. The results indicated poor vigour, low germination percentage, low viability and marked incidences of seed borne diseases in all the samples assessed. In addition, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between grain sourced from the local market and seed sourced from the commercial market. Poor quality legume planting material available predisposes smallholder farmers to low yields and food insecurity. Accordingly there is need to foster investment in research, development and introduction of quality legume seed that guarantees increased plant performance.

crop establishment informal markets seed systems seed vigour

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Kummerow, F, Nutrient and non-nutrient components of legumes, A…nutrition. 2011. Accessed in April 2016.
[2]  Giller, K.E., Murwira, M.S., Dhliwayo, D.K.C., Mafongoya, P.L., Mpepereki, S, Soyabeans and sustainable agriculture in Southern Africa. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 9(11).50-58. 2011.
[3]  FAO, Strengthening seed systems. Gap analysis of the seed sector. Rome. seeds---quality yields. 2011. Accessed in May 2016.
[4]  Wekundah, J.M, Why informal seed sector is important in food security. African technology policy studies network. Biotechnology Trust Africa. Special paper series; No. 43. 2012.
[5]  ZimVac, Rural Livelihoods Assessment. Report, 2016.
[6]  ZIMSTAT, Agriculture and Livestock Survey in Communal Lands 2012, Harare. 2014.
[7]  Pavaskar, M, Pulses Market, India and World. India Pulses and Grain Association. 2015. Accessed in February 2016.
[8]  Dube, P. and Mujaju, C, A simplified technical guide for seed certification procedures for some crops of commercial importance in Zimbabwe. Advanced Journal of Agricultural Research1(3), 96-104. 2013.
[9]  International Seed Testing Association, International rules for seed testing edition 2005. International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), Basserdorf CH-Switzerland. 2005.
[10]  Payne, R.W., Harding, S.A., Murray, D.A., Soutar, D.M., Baird, D.B., Glaser, A.I., Channing, I.C., Welham, S.J., Gilmour, A.R., Thompson, R., Webster, R., 2010. The Guide to GenStat Release 13, Part 2: Statistics. VSN International, Hemel Hempstead, UK.
[11]  Otsyula, R., Rachier, G., Ambitsi, N., Juma, R., Ndiya, C., Buruchara, R. and Sperling, L, The use of informal seed producer groups for diffusing root rot resistant varieties during period of acute stress: In addressing seed security in Disaster Response. Linking relief with development. CIAT, Cali, CO.p.69-89.2004.
[12]  Safijanova, E., Kletnikoski, P., Dimovska, V and Dimitrovski, Z. Comparative economic analysis of wheat production using certified and uncertified seed: The case of Ovcepole region in Republic of Macedonia. Food Science, Engineering and Technologies 922-926. 2012.
[13]  Shackley, B.J, Crop Management, The Wheat Book – principles and practice, Agriculture Western Australia, Bulletin 4443. Australia. pp. 137-145. 2000.
[14]  Henry, F, Seed health testing in Pulses. Melbourne. 2011.
[15]  Diaz, C., Hossain, M.,Bose, M.L., Mercea, S. and Mew, T.W, Seed quality and effect on rice yield.Findings from farmer participatory experiment in Central Luzon, Philippines. Journal Crop Science, 23(2): 111-119. 1998.
[16]  Mula. M.G, Seed delivery system. The key for a sustainable pulse agriculture for smallholder farmers, Green Farming Strategic Vision 12. Green Farming Journal, 3(6). 2012