Adeola Abiola Oso, Anofi Omotayo Ashafa


Background: Cowpea is a cosmopolitan crop cultivated in most of West Africa where the livelihood of people revolves around farming. It is a vital form of livelihood all through the value chain from seed production to farming, grain processing, distribution, and culinary purposes. Main findings: The high demographic growth, rapid urbanization, and burgeoning markets of West African countries are the key drivers for the intensification of cowpea production in these regions. Cowpea as a linkage crop connects agriculture to the prevalent local environments of West Africa; farmers to productive resources; and consumers to local healthy foods. As a choice crop among the resource-poor farmers, it is largely grown in intercrop with other food crops such as maize, sorghum, millet, sugar cane, cotton, and cassava. This is due to the ecosystem services and carbon credits derived from its cultivation. These ecosystem services and carbon credits are displayed through its nitrogen-fixing capability, drought-tolerant nature, and ground covering potential against erosion.  Implication: Although benefits accrue from cultivating this crop, a major constraint to its production is its susceptibility to attack by an array of insect pests. These pests include the pod borer ( Maruca vitrata), Flower thrips (Megalurothrips sjostedti), Spiny bugs (Clavigralla spp.), Other pod sucking bugs (Aspavia armigera, Anoploclemis curvipes, Riptortus dentipe), Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), Aphids (Aphis craccivora), Leafhoppers (Empoasca spp), Foliage beetle(Ootheca mutabilis), Flower beetle (Mylabris spp.) and mites (Tetranychus spp). Their attack could be so severe that over 90% of harvestable yield may be lost and the farmer is left in a dilemma of fighting hunger and poverty. Conclusion: Despite the huge research collaborations in the management of insect pests of cowpea, this paper seeks to find out how much of these documented findings become transferred to resource-poor farmers in West Africa.


Farmers; pest preference; production constraints; Vigna unguiculata; west africa

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