Participatory market-led cowpea breeding in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence pathway from Malawi and Tanzania
Authors: Hella J. P., Chilongo T., Mbwag A. M., Bokosi J., Kabambe V., Riches C. and Massawe C. L.
Number of views: 347
This paper presents a pathway followed by the Alectra research project group in Tanzania and Malawi breeding cowpea for Alectra resistance and for the market. The main objective of the project was to develop cowpea varieties which are resistant to parasitic weed Alectra vogelii and promote the same to small farmers in Malawi and Tanzania. The paper is based on-station and on-farm trial data collected at Ilonga, Bihawana, and Ismani research stations in Tanzania and at Bunda College in Malawi. On-farm data were collected from 2 Extension Planning Areas in central Malawi and 6 villages in Singida, Dodoma and Iringa regions. Lilongwe and Kasungu in Malawi and Dodoma, Iringa and Singida were the main areas where we collected consumers' preference data. The pathway shows that starting from 180 breeder lines, only 13 lines including B301, IT99K-7-21-2-2-1 IT99K-494-6 and IT99K-753-1 and turned out to be very promising lines against A. vogelii infestation. However after subjecting the same lines to various consumer/market preference indicators such as seed color and size, many lines were dropped hence could not be officially released. This study conclude that market based research has resulted in releasing highly demanded varieties that will stimulate production and increase income of small producers in the two countries.
Keywords: Cowpea, consumer preference, market demand, and variety release.