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Bambara groundnut: an exemplar underutilised legume for resilience under climate change

World agriculture is currently based on very limited numbers of crops, representing a significant risk to food supplies, particularly in the face of climate change which is expected to increase the frequency of extreme events. Minor and underutilised crops can help to develop a more resilient and nutritionally dense future agriculture. Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.[, as a drought resistant, nitrogen-fixing, legume has a role to play. However, as with most underutilised crops, there are significant gaps in knowledge and also negative traits such as ‘hard-to-cook’ and ‘photoperiod sensitivity to pod filling’ associated with the crop which future breeding programmes and processing methods need to tackle, to allow it to make a significant contribution to the well-being of future generations. The current review assesses these factors and also considers what are the next steps towards realising the potential of this crop.