Participatory selection of cowpea varieties resistant to aphid and Striga in Benin

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Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey – Calavi (UAC), Godomey, Benin

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Visit of the seed multiplication field site in Zakpota by quality control inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery in Benin, 2020. Left to right: Dr Symphorien Agbahoungba (PI), Mr Parfait E. Aguessy (Inspector), Mr Samuel Dagbeto (Inspector) and Mr Salomon Akohou (Technician).

PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

Background

 

Sixteen cowpea varieties including local checks were introduced and evaluated in four agro-ecological zones in Benin during the first phase of the KT funded project in Benin. Six high performing varieties in terms of yield under pests’ pressure and preference were identified: Apagbaala (resistant to aphids, from Ghana); FUAMPEA 1 and FUAMPEA 2 (Striga resistant, from Nigeria), IT 00K-1263 (resistant to aphids, from IITA), Komcallé (Striga resistant, from Burkina Faso), and Agbloto, a Benin landrace resistant to both Striga and aphids. The current project is set to multiply foundation and basic seed to supply seed companies and demonstration plots, and aim to build the basis of a sustainable seed supply for farmers. The extension activities of the project include farmer field days and training events, and these are funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, livestock and Fishery (MAEP) of Benin.

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The UAC team visiting a field evaluation of 16 cowpea varieties in Agbangnizoun, 2019.

Progress to date

  1. Seed has been multiplied for the second season.

  2. To raise demand for the improved varieties, 480 samples of 25 g of seeds were distributed to farmers in Zakpota, Klouekanmey, Agbangnizoun and Canna.

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A farmer inspecting the roots of a cowpea plant for attached parasitic Striga plants (i); field site in Zakpota for seed mutiplication for the cowpea variety Agbloto (plants at vegetative stage), 2020 (ii); farmers receive 25g seed packs in Agbangnizoun to try the new varieties in their field (iii).

PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS

 
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Dr Symphorien Agbahoungba

Principal Investigator, Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey- Calawi (UAC), Benin.

Dr Agbahoungba has led the KT-funded cowpea variety testing and seed multiplication KT-funded programme in Benin since 2017, and coordinated the cowpea breeding programme in UAC since 2014. He holds PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology from the University of Makerere, Uganda, awarded in 2018.

Mathieu Ayenan

Co-PI, Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey- Calawi (UAC), Benin.

Mr Ayenan s KT-UAC Benin projects Co-PI since 2017 and a participatory varietal selection and seed systems specialist. He obtained an MPhil in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Ghana.

 

Mr Boris Elysé M. Alladassi

Co-PI,

Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University.

Mr Alladassi is KT-UAC Benin project Co-PI since 2017. He holds a MSc in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems from Makerere University in 2017. He is a PhD candidate in Plant Breeding and graduate teaching assistant at Iowa State University, USA.

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Mr Frejus Sodedji

Co-PI, Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey- Calawi (UAC), Benin.

Mr Sodedji is a Research associate and a Ph.D. Candidate. He holds a MSc in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems from Makerere University awarded in 2017. He joined the KT-UAC Benin project as Co-PI since 2017.

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Mr Salomon Akohou

Technician

Mr Akohou is a holder of DEAT (Tropical Agriculture Study Diploma) from Benin.

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Mr Leopold Ahanzo

Technician

Mr Ahanzo is a holder of DEAT (Tropical Agriculture Study Diploma) from Benin

PROJECT LOCATIONS

 

Main Research Station, Cotonou, Benin