Five IITA-developed cowpea varieties released in Swaziland
The Government of Swaziland, through its Ministry of Agriculture, has officially released five IITA-developed cowpea varieties, paving the way for their widespread adoption and use in farmers’ fields. In its National Seeds Varieties List Notice of 2015, Swaziland’s Ministry of Agriculture listed the following IITA cowpea varieties: IT-16, IT-18, IT-04K-321-2, IT-97K-390-2, and IT-99K-494-4.
“The release of these IITA cowpea varieties in Swaziland is further testament to IITA’s positive image and trust that governments and national institutions in the southern African region have of the Institute’s leadership in the field of agricultural science and research,” said David Chikoye, IITA Regional Director for Southern Africa. The release of these five cowpea varieties comes at the heels of the release of two IITA-bred soybean varieties in Zambia just in October.
Characteristically, IT-16 has a yield potential of 1400 kg/ha and takes about 90 days to mature. It is also tolerant of drought, leaf spot, and bacterial diseases, and has a reddish brown seed color. On the other hand, IT-18 could potentially yield 1510 kg/ha. It matures in about 92 days, is also tolerant of drought, leaf spot, and bacterial diseases, and has a brown seed color.
IT-04K-321-2 1460 takes about 94 days to mature, is tolerant of drought, leaf spot, and bacterial diseases, and has a white-colored seed with brown eye. Its yield potential is 1460 kg/ha.
IT-97K-390-2 could yield up to 1370 kg/ha. It takes about 92 days to mature, is tolerant of drought and leaf spot and bacterial diseases, with a reddish brown seed color.
IT-99K-494-4 has a yield potential of 1660 kg/ha, matures in about 94 days, is tolerant of drought, leaf spot, and bacterial diseases, and with a brownish seed.
All the released IITA cowpea varieties have protein content above 25%. They are yet to get their local names.