Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) for smallholder farmers


Photo credit: Africa Rising

Growing cowpea creates new business opportunities for small scale outgrowers

Quality cowpea seed production offers Zambian women farmers opportunities for quality lives

In economies like Zambia, where maize-based farming is predominant, grain legumes – such as cowpea and soybean add the much needed fertility to the soils degraded by monocropping. Legumes are widely grown as intercrops or in rotations on maize-based farming systems. They fix substantial amounts of atmospheric nitrogen through biological nitrogen fixation in the soil, help improve  soil fertility and also contribute to improved crop productivity. However, one the main challenges to growing legumes is the fact that their seeds are not easily available to farmers. But thanks to an emerging breed of bold farmers who have taken to producing seeds for their colleagues in Eastern Zambia, this challenge is being mitigated.

Mrs. Tichoke Phiri with her son, Kenneth, at their homestead in Kawalala Camp, Katete District Photo credit: Cannon Mukuma/IITA

Mrs. Tichoke Phiri with her son, Kenneth, at their homestead in Kawalala Camp, Katete District

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About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, Maiduguri as a lecture & a Researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I was Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) and now Director North East Zone NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
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