Effects of Cowpea Research on Education and Capacity Building in Kenya and Zambia
Awika J.S. Talcott; B. Singh; L. Rooney; John Shindano; Kalaluka Lwanga Munyinda; Kennedy Muimui; Abdul Faraj; Prisca Tuitoek; Amanda Minnaar,lGyebi Duodu
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A poster presented at the 2012 Global Pulse Researchers Meeting, Kigali, Rwanda- “Transforming Grain-Legume Systems to Enhance Nutrition and Livelihoods”. Abstract: Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is drought-tolerant and grown in the semi-arid tropics in Asia, Africa, southern Europe, South and North America. Evidence indicates that legumes may contain compounds that have health benefits against chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, not much information is available on the type of compounds in cowpea and their bioactive properties. Within the research project centering on identifying cowpea varieties with an increased potential for health benefits, three Ph.D. students from African Universities are being trained in different areas including research design, performance of chemical analysis, and molecular biology techniques. The gained knowledge and training will be transferred into the respective home institution of the students. Moreover, institutions in Zambia and Kenya have been provided with equipment and technical training which will enable them to educate additional students in the larger food, nutrition and health research area. We anticipate that locally generated research will contribute immensely to improving nutrition and economic status among the poor in these countries. Overall, this project has contributed to long-term improving education and capacity building in partnering institutions in Zambia and Kenya.