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A participatory evaluation of improved cowpea cultivars in the Guinea and Sudan savanna zones of north east Nigeria
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A number of improved varieties have been developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), combining diverse plant type with resistance or tolerance to several diseases, insect pests, and parasitic weeds and possessing other good agronomic traits. Trials were established with farmers to evaluate several new IITA-bred cowpea varieties on-farm in a process of participatory varietal selection. Central to this has been a ‘mother-daughter’ approach with researcher-managed ‘mother’ trials and farmer-managed ‘daughter’ trials in order to combine researchers' and farmers' criteria in evaluation of new varieties. In both set of trials, new varieties IT89KD-391, IT97K-499-35, and IT89KD-288 were favoured by farmers because of their high grain and fodder yields. Farmers have also shown interest in the continuous use of a local variety Kanannado Brown. It is suitable for relay intercropping; having a creeping habit, and the ability to smother weeds. The brown seeds fetch higher market prices. The implications are that improved cowpea varieties should be suitable for relay-intercropping and controlling weeds, be brown in colour, have large grain size, be pest resistant as well as give high yields of grain and fodder. At the same time, it is important that the farmer's criteria should be considered in breeding and varietal selection programmes.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/2147
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