Grain legumes or pulses are plants belonging to the family leguminosae grown for their edible grains or seeds. Legumes are the most important as they furnish proteins which constitute the major component of human and animal diets. They provide a variety of high protein products and constitute a major source of dietary protein in the diets of the poor. The Grain Legumes section encourages farmers to increase grain legume production in the country through conducting seminars, demonstrations, field-days, workshops and meetings. The most common grain legumes are cowpeas, groundnuts, jugo beans, mung beans and the dry beans.
The Section also embarks on an awareness creation programme to promote production of legume crops such as soya beans and sun hemp (the latter is a legume used as green manure). The Section has facilitated the formation of a Soya bean Task Force comprising of farmers, Seed suppliers, MOA’s technical personnel and a partner NGO, to promote soya bean production in the country.
The grouping of grain legume farmers has made information dissemination by the Ministry and input sales by legume seed producers very easy and manageable. The farmers’ group is in the process of becoming a cooperative society. The association is engaged in talks with the World Food Programme in for marketing their produce. This section of Malkerns Research also provides the following services for the Swazi Citizens:
o To develop high yielding and acceptable varieties o To develop varieties that are tolerant to biotic and biotic stresses that will also be acceptable to producers and consumers. o To develop appropriate crop production practices for farmers. o To provide foundation seed (100kg) to seed growers for seed production. o To disseminate research information to relevant stakeholders
Who can apply for the service
How to apply for the service
• The Agricultural Research Division works through the Extension department. • As soon as the Research Division has a new innovation it consults with the Extension department who will then formulate ways to reach the people in the communities. • The Extension Department will call meetings and disperse the innovation to the community members.
Where and How to apply for the service
• The person interested in the innovation must always be in touch with the Extension Officer in his/her community.