Filter by

Cowpea

Overview

Crop Cowpea Vigna unguiculata Center of origin: CAF, EAF, SAF, WAF

Cowpea is a tough crop, popular throughout the dry tropics and subtropics worldwide. It thrives in sandy soils and tolerates drought better than most crops.

Cowpea is a multipurpose crop, grown for both humans and livestock. The peas, the fresh pods and the fresh leaves all make excellent vegetables with a high nutritional value. In dry form the grains are eaten boiled or as a snack. Cowpea is a high quality legume for livestock feed, and is also used for erosion control.
Subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa usually intercrop their cowpea with maize, sorghum, millet, and/or cassava. In rice farming, cowpea can be grown either before or after a crop to increase food production from a land area. In these systems, cowpea contributes by enriching the soil with nitrogen, helping to break the pest and disease cycle that occurs in continuous grain cropping, and is an additional source of farm income.

According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA in Nigeria, the major pests attacking cowpea plants are flower thrips (Megalurothrips sjostedti), pod borer (Maruca vitrata), and pod sucking bugs. IITA has developed high-yielding short season varieties with resistance to major diseases, insect pests, nematodes, and parasitic weeds, and these varieties have been released in some 60 countries.

Conserving forever in genebanks

Filter by genebanks

IITA

Number of varieties available to the public
14% 2,156
Data available in genesys
79.8% 12,264
Safety duplicated
57.3% 8,810

Breakdown of genebanks conserving Cowpea

  • IITA 15,371 / 100%

The Crop Trust has supported 33 projects for Cowpea

  1. Azerbaijan: The Crop Trust supported the Genetic Resources Institute of the National Academy of Sciences to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 20 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of these crop.
  2. Brazil: The Crop Trust supported the Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Embrapa, Cenargen) to collect and conserve 96 samples of cowpea, with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  3. Benin: The Crop Trust supported the Institut national des recherches agricoles du Bénin (INRAB) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 60 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of these crop.
  4. Bulgaria: The Crop Trust supported the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources to evaluate and characterize 50 cowpea accessions for drought tolerance and pests and diseases resistance with the aim of identifying new sources of tolerance and resistance and making the material available to breeders for crop improvement.
  5. Bulgaria: The Crop Trust supported the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources to regenerate and characterize 20 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  6. Burkina Faso: The Crop Trust supported the Institut national de l’environnement et de la recherche agronomique (INERA) to regenerate and characterize 195 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 175 accessions are safety duplicated in the international Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
  7. Costa Rica: Costa Rica hosts the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate, characterize, document and safety duplicate 2,160 accessions from the international collection it manages. It is also cryopreserving coffee.
  8. Georgia: The Georgia State Agrarian University (GSAU) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate four cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  9. Ghana: The Crop Trust supported Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (PGRRI), Ghana to collect and conserve 14 accessions of wild cowpeas with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. Seven accessions are safety duplicated at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
  10. Kenya: The National Genebank, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 398 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  11. Kenya: The Crop Trust supported the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI), Kenya to collect six accessions of wild cowpea in the Coastal, Eastern, Central and Western parts of Kenya and conserve with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  12. Malawi: The Malawi Plant Genetic Resources Centre received support from the Crop Trust to characterize and evaluate 60 cowpea accessions for tolerance to drought and heat with the aim of identifying potential sources of desired traits and making these available to breeders for use in the development of varieties adapted to climate change.
  13. Mali: The Crop Trust supported the l’Institut d’Economie Rurale to regenerate and characterize 87 accessions of Bambara groundnuts with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 68 accessions are safety duplicated in IITA.
  14. Mali: The Crop Trust provided funding to the Unité de Semences Forestières et d’Herbiers – Centre Régional de Recherche Agricole de l’IER – Sikasso to train staff of the Unité des Resources Génétiques (URG-IER) as a response to the need for better knowledge on seed processing and conservation techniques, data gathering, management and publication
  15. Mali: The Crop Trust supported the the l’Institut d’Economie Rurale to survey and collect cowpea in six regions of Mali with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. A total of 89 accessions were collected and 80 are safety duplicated in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  16. Mexico: The Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agriculas y Pecuaris (INIFAP), Mexico received funding from the Crop Trust to characterize and evaluate 30 cowpea accessions from Southeast Mexico for drought tolerance with the aim of identifying valuable germplasm that can provide novel sources of tolerance/resistance for the traits of interest for use in the development of desirable improved varieties at regional and global levels. 4 cowpea accessions were found to be potential sources of genes for drought tolerance.
  17. Mozambique: The Crop Trust supported the Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM) to regenerate 98 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  18. Nigeria: The Crop Trust supported the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology to regenerate 52 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. All are safety duplicate in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
  19. Nigeria: The National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) received support from the Crop Trust to survey and collect cowpea in the Northeastern, North Central and Northwestern parts of Nigeria with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. A total of 143 accessions were collected and 137 safety duplicated in International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
  20. Nigeria: The Crop Trust supported International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Nigeria to collect and conserve wild cowpeas with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  21. Philippines: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL) at the University of the Philippines Los Banos to regenerate and characterize 756 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 608 accessions are safety duplicated in the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC).
  22. Panama: The Crop Trust supported the Instituto de Investigación Agropecuaria de Panamá to regenerate 16 accessions of cow pea with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  23. Russia: The Crop Trust provided support to the N.I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) to regenerate 150 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  24. South Africa: The Crop Trust supported the Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute and the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre who are collaborating to characterize and evaluate important collections of cowpea for drought and heat tolerance with the objective of identifying potential sources of tolerance and resistant genes, make available to breeders for use in developing varieties adapted to climate change.
  25. Sudan: The Crop Trust supported the Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) to regenerate, characterize and safety duplicate 46 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  26. Swaziland: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) to regenerate 45 accessions of cowpea with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop
  27. Thailand: The Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 734 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 485 accessions are safety duplicated in the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC)
  28. Tanzania: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) to regenerate and characterize 150 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 57 accessions are safety duplicated in IITA
  29. Tanzania: The National Plant Genetic Resources and the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, Tanzania received support from the Crop Trust to collect 58 accessions of cowpea in Northern, Eastern, Central and Western parts of Tanzania and conserve with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 58 accessions were collected and are safety duplicated in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
  30. Togo: The Institut togolais de recherche agronomique (ITRA) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 78 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  31. Yemen: The Agricultural Research & Extension authority (AREA) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 48 cowpea accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  32. Zambia: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) to regenerate and safety duplicate 96 accessions of cowpea with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  33. Zambabwe: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) to regenerate 84 accessions of cowpea with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.