Assessment of the production and importance of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) walp]: Cases from selected districts of southern Ethiopia

Assessment of the production and importance of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) walp]: Cases from selected districts of southern Ethiopia

Author: 
Ayalew Tewodros
Publisher: 
Rural Outreach Programme (ROP)
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
L Melese, jt. author
T Yoseph, jt. author
Journal Title: 
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Source: 
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol 21, No. 7, August 2021, pp. 18300-18318
Abstract: 

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.Walp) is an important legume in the hot, dry tropics and subtropics of sub-Saharan Africa, serving a multiple role for the livelihoods of millions of relatively low-income people. The entire plant can be used for either human or livestock consumption and with considerable drought-tolerating capacity. Tender young leaves, green pods and matured seeds are used as human food. Moreover, the crop serves for sustainable soil fertility improvement due to its excellent nitrogen-fixing capacity. However, its production and utilization are limited in Ethiopia partly due to dependence on the conventional agronomic practices and lack of information on its wide ranging uses. This study was conducted to assess the cowpea agronomy and the contributions the crop has in the livelihoods of farmers at Loka-Abaya and Humbo districts of Southern Ethiopia. Multi-stage sampling techniques were employed to achieve the set objectives. Both primary and secondary data were collected to solicit the required information. The data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics such as multiple linear regression model using the SPSS Software version 20 and STATA 13. Multiple linear regression model results showed that education, land size, climate information access, credit access, lack of market chain, availability of seed of improved varieties, and pests significantly (P<0.001) affected cowpea production in the studied areas. The trend analysis showed that the cowpea yield and production area coverage is increasing in Humbo District whereas, a decreasing trend was observed at the Loka Abaya. According to the household interview data, about 76 % of the respondents reported a decrease in the cultivated area of cowpea. According to the respondents, lack of access to improved seed and lack of extension support services contributed 79 % and 73 %, respectively to the low yield observed in the area. The majority of the respondents cultivate cowpea as intercropping and rotation with cereals and in the main field with the main purpose to replenish soil fertility (97 %). On the other hand, 62 % of the respondents cultivate cowpea for home consumption. According to the survey result, 48 % of the respondents use the matured grain for consumption. The production trends of the cowpea are highly variable mainly due to less attention paid by the extension systems to boost the yield of the crop, reliance of farmers on local varieties, pest occurrence and poor market chain. Therefore, modern production technologies including the supply of improved varieties of seed with their full production package should be introduced to the area so as to improve the yield and optimize its contribution towards achieving food security.

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CITATION: Ayalew Tewodros. Assessment of the production and importance of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) walp]: Cases from selected districts of southern Ethiopia . : Rural Outreach Programme (ROP) , 2021. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol 21, No. 7, August 2021, pp. 18300-18318 - Available at: http://library.au.int/assessment-production-and-importance-cowpea-vigna-unguiculata-l-walp-cases-selected-districts