Scientists introduce improve cowpea to boost food security after Bagre Dam spillage

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More than 200 farmers in the Bawku West and Binduri districts of Upper East Region, who farm along the White Volta have been schooled on two improved varieties of cowpea.

The initiative by Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is geared towards improving food security after the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina-Faso.

The annual spillage of the Burkinabe dam, this year destroyed hundred hectares of farms and loss of human lives.

As a way of mitigating the ravage, Senior Research Scientist of SARI based in Manga in the Binduri district, Dr. Francis Kusi said, the improved cowpea varieties is striga resistant and can produce more yields unlike the traditionally cropped cowpea.

“When there is flood there is a lot of residual moisture at the banks of the river that the farmers can use for profitable cowpea production without going in for any irrigation system”

Dr. Kusi stated that, his outfit intends to train some farmers as community seeds producers who will also grow and supply seeds to other farmers in the areas and the region at large.

Some of the farmers who spoke exclusively to A1 News said, the havoc caused on their farms due to the Bagre Dam spillage is immeasurable.

They are confident that, the improved cowpea varieties offered them by SARI will go a long way to restore their lost hopes as farmers.

“The floods actually affected us but with the support I am sure our lives will be improved” Abugri Sophia, a female farmer stated.

Another farmer, Ariku Martin said “aftermath the floods what can we do next but with these two varieties it will enable us to go into the off season cropping that will enable us gain something”

The two cowpea varieties introduced by SARI were Kirkhouse Benga and Wan-kae, with funding support from the Kirkhouse Trust.

Source: A1radioonline.com | 101.1MHz | Joshua Asaah

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