P-efficient cowpea

Lead Organization:

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger

Partner Organizations:

Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles, Texas AgriLife Research

Community of Practice:

West Africa


Burkina Faso and Niger




Funded for three years, this project is directed towards developing, demonstrating and disseminating high yielding cowpea varieties that combine efficient uptake and use of phosphorus, drought tolerance and resistance to aphid and striga in sustainable cowpea-cereal cropping systems. The project is jointly implemented by INRAN in Niger, INERA in Burkina Faso and Texas A&M University in the USA. It will make use of the major genetic variability in cowpea for efficient uptake and utilization of phosphorus, solubilization of rock phosphate and resistance to drought, aphid and striga, which are the major factors that limit yields of cowpea in this region. The desirable traits will be incorporated into high yielding cowpea varieties and then the improved varieties will introduced into the cowpea-cereal cropping systems for increased productivity and farmer income

Grant Aims:

  • Improved nutrition greater protein and from Harvest Plus research in cowpea (for greater Fe and Zn content)
  • Greater income from higher yielding from cowpea varieties and more intensive sustainable cropping systems.
  • Genetic improvement to many environmental stresses including poor soil fertility, drought, Striga, insects, and vectored diseases.
  • Develop new high yielding cowpea varieties by incorporating characteristics of enhanced P-acquisition and P-utilization efficiencies and drought tolerance with existing characteristics of resistance to aphid and striga, semi-erect growth and early to medium maturity traits.
  • Develop improved sole cropping and intercropping systems and planting arrangements to minimize competition and improve the overall productivity of the system, while also utilizing the abundant natural resources in the West Africa.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Higher yield and greater cropping system sustainability, including improved soil properties
  • Genetic information on crop tolerance to stress;
  • Improved nutrition and greater income.