Food and nutritional insecurity constitute a main challenge in most Sub-Sahara African countries. Efforts to provide diets with sufficient nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and essential minerals should include the introduction of new vegetable and legume crops. Vegetable soybean “edamame”, is a nutritious vegetable legume well known and consumed in Asia and America, but underutilized in Africa. This review paper aims at documenting the existing information on edamame and analyzing the potentials for its use in Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis of the existing literature revealed that vegetable soybean provides great advantages in term of production because of good market value of the fresh pods having a good market value and high demand on both local and international markets. Then, the consumption of edamame can also really contribute to reducing nutritional deficiencies in children and even adults, through its great nutritional content and good health benefits. Therefore, edamame is a good crop to promote in Africa. The promotion of edamame requires many research activities starting from evaluation of agro-ecological adaptation, determination of consumers’ preferences and genetic improvement based on farmers, processors and consumers’ needs, in order to sustain a seed system for the crop.
Key words: Food security, genetic improvement, seed system, sub-Saharan Africa, vegetable soybean.
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