Improving the quality of stored legumes

Low cost pest control, to allow storage of cowpea
by small scale farmers

A development research project funded by the Crop Post-Harvest Programme, of the UK Department for International Development.

Cowpea is a traditional legume widely cultivated by small-scale farmers in sub-saharan Africa. The beans harvested at the end of the rainy season need to be stored over the dry season, which can last 6 or 7 months. During storage, heavy damage is caused by an insect pest, which can destroy the entire harvest.

This research project aims at providing solutions to this problem, in the form of control methods against the pest which are:


  • effective -for farmers to be able to keep cowpea for longer periods without severe losses
  • safe -because cowpea is consumed by the families or sold to the local market
  • affordable -because the beneficiaries of this work, small-scale farmers, are affected by poverty
  • acceptable -for the methods to be adopted by farmers, to make a real difference.


The project was undertaken by a team coming from several countries, different disciplines, and varied backgrounds, from Farmers to Extensionists and Researchers, from Universities and Research Institutes to Ministries and NGOs.

On this Web site, we present the project and its main results.