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Title: Maximising yield benefits from dual-purpose cowpea
Authors: Dube, Ernest 
Fanadzo, Morris 
Keywords: Cowpea leaf;Cowpea grain;Food security;Protein;Subsistence farmers
Issue Date: 2013
Source: Dube, E. & Fanadzo, M. 2013, Maximising yield benefits from dual-purpose cowpea. Food Security, 5(6): 769-779. []
Abstract: Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.) is con- sumed by many subsistence farmers across the African conti- nent as a cheap source of quality protein. Harvest of cowpea leaves as a vegetable as well as grain from the same plant (dual-purpose) is a primary goal for farmers, which allows them to exploit the nutritional benefits of both. The leaves are consumed in a variety of traditional dishes, or dried for use in the dry season. However, leaf harvest practices by farmers are among the leading causes of poor grain yield and quality. These negative effects can extend to reduction in other bene- fits of cowpeas such as nitrogen fixation and soil organic matter improvement. This paper critically reviews the effects of leaf harvesting practices on cowpea crops and options available to subsistence farmers to mitigate the negative ef- fects. Recommendations on appropriate timing, duration and intensity of leaf harvesting are then provided, together with agronomic strategies for maximising benefits. Information gaps are also highlighted with the aim of guiding future research programmes for the improvement of the food pro- ductivity of cowpea.
Description: Food Security
Appears in Collections:Appsc - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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