One of the released parasitoid wasps, Therophilus javanus. Photo: IITA

Farmers in Benin adopt new natural enemies to fight pod borers in cowpea

Damage caused by pod borer Maruca vitrata, the most destructive pest of cowpeas, can lead a loss of up to USD 3 billion per year in West Africa alone. To reduce the losses, farmers resort to spraying insecticides, most often inappropriate ones and without protective equipment and gear, thereby exposing themselves and their families to serious health hazards. The damage by the caterpillars of the pod borers can cause up to 80% damage on cowpea farms. Worse, over the years…

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New Publication: Grain Legumes Production, Consumption and Trade Trends in Developing Countries

Click to download the Publication Authors: Nedumaran S, Abinaya P, Jyosthnaa P, Shraavya B, Rao P and Bantilan C Published: 2015. Working Paper Series No. 60. ICRISAT, Patancheru, Telangana, India. Summary and Conclusion Grain legumes are important as it is a source of income and nutrition to billions of smallholder farmers and consumers around the world, especially in developing countries. The main objective of this report is to examine the global and regional trends in area under cultivation, production, yield,…

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Cowpea seller at Bodija market Ibadan

N2Africa revitalizes legume production in Nigeria

Within the Nigerian context, a revival of the groundnut pyramid era of the 1950s is the main idea that comes to mind from the objectives of the N2Africa project. Since 2009, the project has been taking proactive and practical steps away from theory and putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder groundnut, soybean, and cowpea farmers, by supporting soil agents such as rhizobium for improved yield. To achieve this, N2Africa advocates an integrated approach through the use of a combination…

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Improved cowpea variety

Poor access to improved technologies hinders legume production in Africa

The productivity of legumes―which are important crops for improving nutrition as a cheap source of protein, increasing farmers’ incomes, and improving soil fertility as they fix nitrogen from the air into the soils―can be easily increased and even doubled with application of improved technologies. However, farmers are unable to access most of these technologies due to poorly developed supply chains, lack of access to credit, and inadequate policies. These are the challenges that the second phase of the multi-partnership project,…

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Ghana cowpea climbing

Cowpea Climbing in Ghana

The area sown to cowpea is expanding at a faster rate in Ghana than anywhere else on the continent, according to scientists in the Tropical Legumes II project. To meet rapid demand growth, they believe that new technologies can increase yields by 50%.  

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Grain Legumes

Grain Legumes is a partnership among four CGIAR Research Institutes: ICRISAT as lead center, CIAT, ICARDA and IITA, along with several public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers worldwide.

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Grain Legumes