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Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
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Green grams also known as mung bean, is an erect annual plant which grows to a height of 60-70 cm tall are the more commonly grown in Kenya as compared to black grams. They are common in central and south Nyanza areas, in Machakos and Kitui Counties and at the coast. The two main varieties for the Kenyan market are N26 and KS20 and are differentiated by the colour of seeds. Yellow green grams have bright green seeds while the local green gram seed is small and ripens unevenly. An improved variety (K26) has larger seeds and tends to ripen uniformly, see Table 1. The common names used to refer to green grams are Ndengu or Pojo Ngina. Green grams produces pale yellow flowers borne in clusters of 12–15 near the top of the plant. The flowers develop into cylindrical pods with cylindrical seeds. Pods measure 7.5 cm to 10 cm long and contain 10 to 15 seeds each. Each plant typically produces 30 to 40 pods which turn darker in colour as they mature. The seed colour is in varying shades of yellow to green and black with green and yellow grams being the more common ones in Kenya. The crop is mainly produced by smallholder farmers. However, pests and diseases are major constraints in green grams production in Kenya. Accuracy in pest identification and disease diagnostics are important for proper management of these challenges. It is therefore necessary to build the capacity of extension officers and growers in pest and disease management in order to minimize losses. Green grams are often cultivated in rotation or relay with cereals and consumed as whole seeds boiled with cereals such as maize or sorghum. Boiled whole seeds are also fried with meat or vegetables and eaten as stew with ‘ugali’ and ‘chapati’. They can also be pre-germinated and eaten as sprouts in salads. Consumption of split seeds (dhal) is common among people of Asian descent. The nutritive value of green gram lies in its high and easily digestible protein, and contains approximately 374Kcal, 24% protein, 1.2% fat, 16.3% dietary fibre, 4.5-5.5% ash and 63% carbohydrates on dry weight basis. Amino acid analysis indicates that the concentration of sulphur containing amino acids, namely methionine and cysteine are low. Lysine values are comparatively high and that is why, the protein of green grams is an excellent complement to rice in terms of balanced human nutrition. They also contain thiamin, iron, magnesium and other nutrients and are a good source of foliate