IITA News

Picture of Researcher inspecting cowpea plants.

Using wild relatives in breeding cowpea for improved adaptation to drought and heat

Cowpea is an important staple crop of the savannah region of West Africa but efforts to increase its productivity may be hampered by climate change particularly reduced and erratic rainfall and increased temperatures.

Picture of Cowpea is both a delicacy and livelihood crop for many African households.

Scientists say new spacing could guarantee more yield for cowpea

CGIAR scientists are recommending a new spacing regime for cowpea that could give farmers up to 79% more yield if adopted. The new spacing is a result of a study on the Effects of plant density on the performance of cowpea in Nigerian savannas, conducted during the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons at the IITA…

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AVEC-BF provides best options for cowpea farmers in Burkina Faso

A series of farmers’ participatory varietal selection (FPVS) for cowpea in Burkina Faso conducted by the IITA AVEC-BF project, has resulted in the identification of best choice varieties for the country. The trials, which have been in progress since 2010, have assisted over 3,500 farmers to identify and grow best-fit cowpea options for their specific regions….

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Screen grab of The EDIT-Cowpea database (pictured above) enables cowpea breeders to identify genotypes with favorable target traits.

JIRCAS, IITA launch cowpea database

The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), in collaboration with IITA, has launched the EDITS-Cowpea database. This open-access database aims to generate fundamental scientific information to promote better utilization of cowpea genetic resources in breeding programs and crop utilization. Cowpea is vital to the livelihoods of millions of people in the semi-arid regions…

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AVEC-BF holds cowpea fair and stakeholders meeting to strengthen cowpea value chain

The Appropriate Varieties of Early maturing Cowpea for the Burkina Faso project (AVEC-BF), collaborating with the Institut de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles in Burkina Faso (INERA) organized a cowpea fair and stakeholders’ meeting in Burkina Faso on 4 June. The convergence aimed to promote interaction among key players and further strengthen the value chain…

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IITA confers achievement awards to three cowpea researchers

At the Joint Pan-African Grain Legume and Cowpea Conference, IITA conferred “Lifetime Achievement Awards” to three researchers in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the development of grain legume and cowpea research. The scientists are Drs Issa Drabo of Burkina Faso, Irvin Widders of Michigan State University – Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab, and…

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Call for sustainable and diversified production

In an interview, IITA Deputy Director General for Research for Development, Ylva Hillbur, reiterated that drought tolerant crops would be extremely important in countries facing the effects of climate change like Zambia. “You also need to diversify and have different varieties of cash crops such as legumes, cowpeas and integrate cassava. We need to move…

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Picture of the Joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference was officially closed by Julius Shawa, Permanent Secretary of Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture.

An impressive collection of agricultural geniuses

In his remarks keynoting the opening the conference, Zambia Minister of Agriculture Honorable Given Lubinda called the delegates attending the conference “an impressive collection of agricultural geniuses”. “On behalf of the Government of Zambia, I would like to thank the organizers for choosing Zambia as the host of this Joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World…

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Picture of Zambia Minister of Agriculture Honorable Given Lubinda giving his keynote speech at the opening of the Joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference on 29 February at the AVANI Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone, Zambia.

IITA-organized international confab puts grain legume and cowpea research in global spotlight

More than 580 delegates from 46 countries across the globe converged in the historical town of Livingstone in the south of Zambia to share knowledge, information, and expertise; deliberate on issues; build and reinforce partnerships; and discuss the state of the art in grain legume and cowpea research at the highly-successful Joint Pan-African Grain Legume…

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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…

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