Capactities of U.S. Universities That Can Benefit International Research Efforts on Grain Legumes: A Collaborative Research Experience in Biological Management of Cowpea Insect Pests in West Africa
Manuele Tamò; Barry Pittendrigh; Clementine Dabire; Malick Ba; Ibrahim Baoua; Mamadou N'Diaye
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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: Using the case study of the USAID-sponsored DGP-CRSP projects ‘Biological Foundations for Management of Field Insect Pests of Cowpea in Africa’ and ‘Technology Dissemination’, this presentation will highlight some of the major synergies and complementarities of collaborative research arrangement between IITA, a CGIAR center, and UIUC, a US university. Particular attention will be focused on how these projects have catalyzed opportunities for CGIAR scientist to collaborate with US university scientists. IITA with its station in Benin has experience in insect ecology and biological control, but for instance, lacks the capacity in the detailed analysis of insect population genetics. This was made possible through collaboration with UIUC using high throughput technology (e.g. 454 sequencing), combined with novel bioinformatics approaches. This information, together with ground survey data, is a crucial step for more ecosystem-targeted releases of biological control agents. At the same time, in preparation for large scale deployment of beneficial organisms, training videos have been prepared by the UIUC team in collaboration with IITA and NARS colleagues, to inform low-literacy farmers about these new approaches in cowpea pest control.