The study focused on factors affecting the commercialization of food legumes - cowpeas ( Vigna unguiculata
), bambara groundnuts ( Vigna subterranea
), groundnuts ( Arachis hypogaea
) and soybeans ( Glycine max
) in two departments (Benoué and Mayo-Louti) of the North Region of Cameroon. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data. Qualitative methods involved focus group discussions and direct observations. A structured interview guide was administered in major peri-urban and urban markets to get supportive quantitative data. The respondents were selected using purposive sampling technique. A content analysis was conducted and quantitative data was analyzed with the aid of XLSTAT 2007 software and Excel. A cross-section of the age and gender population was involved in the marketing of food legumes. Women constituted more than 80% in the retail sector on peri-urban markets. The study found that 100% of the vendors had never got any form of training on business management before engaging into the sector. Socio-cultural factors were determinant factors that impacted negatively in promoting an entrepreneurial culture among women. The marginalization of women, the restriction of land ownership by traditional tenure and poor distribution of land for agriculture were some of the main constraints faced by women. The impediments of women’s empowerment include their lack of access to the decision-making process, low participation in local governance and limited access to technology inputs and credit. Traditional practices forbid women and girls to have or manage large amounts of money. Such restrictions have serious consequences on agricultural production. Instead of exploiting the productive capacity of women at all levels, including food production and transformation, some of the traditions simply stifle their potential energies. In addition to socio-cultural factors, major bottlenecks faced in the production and commercialisation of food legumes includes social structural and institutional, agronomic, natural (biotic and abiotic stress) and climatic factors. Development of intervention strategies through exogenous innovation techniques might act as an incentive for smallholder farmers to invest more of their land and energy in cultivation of food legumes. More attention should be focused on market research and development with crop improvement programmes that are economically profitable, if food legumes are to continue making a greater contribution to the household income, nutrition and sustainable development in North Cameroon.