Advancing cowpea productivity in West Africa

Photo: IITA

Project description

This project aims to improve food availability and nutritional quality for smallholder producers and their communities in sub-Saharan Africa, with focus on four countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal). The project aims to advance cowpea productivity through two objectives:

  1. develop and validate new genetic marker-based selection methods for abiotic stress tolerance traits to enhance cowpea breeding
  2. apply the new selection methods and tools to generate improved cowpea breeding lines with abiotic stress tolerance for use in cowpea variety development for the target agroecologies.

Productivity will increase by reducing cowpea production costs and risks for enhanced profitability and competitiveness, and by enhancing the utilization of cowpea grain, food products and ingredients so as to expand market opportunities and improve human health, by promoting dietary nutritional value and the livelihoods of women.

The project aims to encourage public institutions and stakeholders, and NGOs to use CCAFS decision support tools to prioritize and design national level investments on climate-smart agriculture that will strengthen smallholder farmers adaptive capacity.


The project is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Further information

For more information, please contact project leader Ousmane Boukar (IITA) at