Protect stored cowpeas
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1998. Protect stored cowpeas. Spore 77. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48190
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore77.pdf
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is cultivated widely in Africa and its centre of production is Nigeria. A good source of vegetable protein, in certain regions cowpea provides people with nearly 60% of their protein intake. Local farmers often store...
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is cultivated widely in Africa and its centre of production is Nigeria. A good source of vegetable protein, in certain regions cowpea provides people with nearly 60% of their protein intake. Local farmers often store cowpeas until the off-season when they sell them for higher prices. However, this practice is quite risky as, in storage, cowpea is susceptible to damage by the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. There are no synthetic pesticides commonly available for protecting stored cowpeas. So what are small farmers to do? Researchers have found that dried powdered grapefruit and lime peel, when mixed with stored cowpeas, are very effective in killing C. maculatus and inhibiting egg-laying. Grapefruit peel was found to be effective at concentrations of 10% weight/weight of dried cowpea, whereas lime peel was effective at 20% weight/weight. Grapefruit and lime are common citrus crops in much of Africa, so farmers should have no difficulty obtaining fruit peel. Although limited so far to laboratory trials, such treatments hold great promise as sustainable alternatives for general stored produce pest control on small-scale, low input farms. Contact: I. Onu Department of Crop Protection, Ahmadu Bello University P M B 1044, Zaria Nigeria.