Development of Improved Cowpea Cultivars with Increased Yield Potential, Tolerance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses, and Having Grain Quality Traits Preferred by Farmers and Consumers for Three Target Agro-Ecological Zones, the Sahel and the Sudan/Guinea Savanna Regions in West Africa and the U.S. Southwest
University of California - Riverside
Institute for Agricultural Research (Nigeria); Purdue, University of Virginia (US); SARI (Ghana); INERA (Burkina Faso)
Phillip Roberts (US); Ousmane Boukar (Cameroon); Ndiaga Cisse (Senegal); Issa Drabo (Burkina Faso)
On-farm cowpea yields in West Africa average 240 kg/ha even though potential yields in the region, as demonstrated in on-station and on-farm trials, are often five to ten times greater. Most of the loss in yield potential is due to pests, but drought and poor soil fertility are also important constraints. The goal of this research component is to develop improved cowpea cultivars that resist or tolerate these biotic and abiotic stresses for three target agro-ecological zones, the Sahel and the Sudan/Guinea Savanna regions in West Africa and the U.S. Southwest.
1. Identify and characterize cowpea germplasm for resistance to insect pests, diseases and drought. 2. Develop high yielding, pest resistant cowpea varieties with improved grain quality adapted to the Sahelian and Savanna zones of West Africa and to the U.S. 3. Develop and characterize genetic populations and molecular tools necessary for implementation of marker-assisted selection (MAS).