Strengthening the Cowpea ”Value-Chain” in West Africa: Determination of the Demand and Market Opportunities for Cowpea Grain and Processed Products in West Africa

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Lead University:

Other Partners:
Institut National de Recherches Agronomiques du Niger (INRAN), (Niger); Institut Senegalais Recherches Agricole (ISRA), (Senegal); Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), (Nigeria)

Principal Investigator(s):
Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, Joan Fulton (U.S.); Germain Ibro (Niger); Mbene Faye (Senegal); Saket Kushwaha (Nigeria)

Co-Principal Investigator(s):


This component of the Bean/Cowpea CRSP focuses on marketing and trade research with the aim of identifying new market opportunities for cowpea grain and processed products to stimulate economic growth. Preliminary diagnosis of cowpea marketing in West Africa has identified the following general picture. Characteristics of improved varieties of cowpeas are not necessarily those prized by consumers. There is poor flow of price and quality information between some countries. Transportation and transaction costs are high. Market power is exercised by some merchant communities. There is little value-added processing of cowpeas. Currently, price reporting systems are improving within countries. Research is needed to determine the extent to which price and quantity information improve the efficiency of markets and then to determine the best way to implement an improved market information system. Consumer demand analysis is needed for taste and other biochemical aspects of cowpeas including sucrose and protein content and cooking time.


1. Develop cowpea grain marketing opportunities by developing better estimates of the market value of cowpea cooking time and sugar content and determining the degree of marketing integration and market power in West African cowpea markets. 2. Estimate potential demand for cowpea-based processed products in West Africa.


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