Cowpea is a legume that is extensively grown, particularly throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is a subsistence crop, often intercropped with sorghum, maize and pearl millet. The peas provide valuable protein, the leaves are used as a nutritious vegetable and the rest of the plant serves for animal feed. The plants are drought tolerant and grow well on relatively poor soils. The peas can be consumed fresh or removed from the pods and dried.

Organization: FAO
Author: Carlos Gómez
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 15/06/2004

Phaseolus Bean or the common bean is the most important food legume for direct consumption in the world and is a major source of dietary protein in many developing countries.  It is produced in a range of crop systems and environments in regions as diverse as Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and United States as well as Canada and China. There are many different varieties of these bush or vine herbaceous annual plants producing a wide range of bean types, including Pinto, Kidney, Haricot, Navy and Mexican. The beans can be consumed by eating the fresh green pods but are more usually removed from the pods, dried and cooked.

Author: A.L. Jones
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 14/10/1999
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