Just ahead of the forthcoming cropping season, detailed road maps were created for a synergized work plan to increase production and productivity of groundnut and cowpea in Nigeria. During a combined Review and Planning Meet of the Tropical Legumes III and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Cowpea Upscaling projects, researchers from both projects discussed ways to pool their resources in order to have a greater impact in scaling out the individual project goals for both the crops.
In particular, the following points were emphasized:
- Need to leverage resources between the two projects for improved efficiency and effectiveness of seed delivery and scaling out
- Joint capacity building of national partners
- Alignment of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seed sector development activities with national priorities.
Challenges to higher production of groundnut and cowpea include limited use of data capturing tools, under-reporting of seed production by seed companies and late submission of project reports by project partners.
Scientists debated on the ways to eliminate the above challenges and fine-tune technology delivery systems for both groundnut and cowpea.
The two-day meeting, conducted on 14-15 February at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kano, Nigeria, brought together the two sister projects:
TL III and USAID Cowpea Upscaling project. TL III is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation while the USAID Cowpea Upscaling project is funded by USAID.
Mr Rabo Ado, IITA Station Manager, Kano underscored the need for researchers to recognize the health benefits of legumes and to promote legumes. Dr Lucky O Omoigui, the TL III Seed Systems Specialist highlighted IITA’s research work in cowpea and assured the NARS of IITA’s continued support in research for improving food production, reducing hunger and poverty in Nigeria.
It was agreed that there is a need to re-strategize to increase seed production and also encourage wealthy individuals to invest in legume seed production business.