BASELINE SURVEY ON THE PRODUCTION PRACTICES, CONSTRAINTS AND UTILIZATION OF COWPEA IN SOUTH AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR COWPEA IMPROVEMENT
Cowpea is an important grain legume. Research and production of cowpea have been neglected in South Africa in the last three decades due to lack of funding and interest of researchers to work on the improvement of the crop. As a result of these, cultivated varieties are unimproved, low-yielding and pest-susceptible, coupled with lack of knowledge of good agronomic practices and non availability of good seeds for planting. In order to ascertain the extent of these problems, a reconnaissance baseline survey was conducted among the cowpea production areas of South Africa, mainly Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces, during 2004 and 2005 cropping seasons. Questionnaires were administered among local farmers. Data was collected for different parameters such as cropping systems, cultural practices, yield, constraints to production and utilization. The data was summarised into averages, percentages or ranges. Results obtained from the survey identified the major production practices and constraints to cowpea production in the provinces. The results formed a useful guide for the development of well-tailored breeding objectives for the improvement of cowpea for South African farmers and consumers. Details of these results are discussed in this paper.
Asiwe , J.A.N. (2007). BASELINE SURVEY ON THE PRODUCTION PRACTICES, CONSTRAINTS AND UTILIZATION OF COWPEA IN SOUTH AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR COWPEA IMPROVEMENT. Acta Hortic. 752, 381-385
cowpea, legumes, cropping systems, crop mixtures, pests, yield