Evaluation of Cowpea Storage Technologies used by Traders in Burkina Faso and Niger

Monday, June 1, 2015
Big Basin (Manhattan Conference Center)
Kabita Kharel , Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Dieudonne Baributsa , Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Cowpea is one of the most important legumes in West Africa. However, stored cowpea can be attacked by various insects causing significant qualitative and quantitative damage. The Purdue Improve Crop Storage (PICS) bags were introduced in West and Central Africa around 2007 to address post-harvest losses. PICS are airtight, chemical-free, triple layer plastic bags that have been reported to be effective in suppressing growth and survival of insect and pathogens. Nevertheless, the interests in using the PICS technology among cowpea traders have been limited. This study was conducted to understand how traders in Burkina Faso and Niger stored cowpea during the period 2007-2011. Two hundred cowpea traders were interviewed in different provinces of Burkina Faso and Niger. Result showed that the majority of traders used chemical protectant, Phostoxin® (Aluminum Phosphide), usually 2-3 tablets per 100 kg cowpea for first treatment followed by second treatment in 3-6 month with 1-2 tablets. The chemical treatments were preferred simply because they were readily available. However, the quality and integrity of the chemicals were not as recommended and thus were not effective. Majority of respondents were willing to switch to PICS technology but identified cost and availability of bags as major constraints. Awareness building among cowpea traders is required to maintain the benefits of chemical-free cowpea storage at the farm-level.
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