This research is on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, (L.)) which is an annual leguminous crop indigenous to Tropical Africa. Women farmers mostly grow cowpea as a food security crop and it is an important source of protein and income for many of them. The high protein content of cowpea, its adaptability to different types of soils, drought tolerance, ability to improve soil fertility and prevention of soil erosion makes it an important economic crop. In Africa, the women farmers produce, process and sell snacks made from this nutritious legume. With a growing market for cowpeas both within and outside the country, women can be encouraged to increase their production by using improved cowpea technology.
In 2004 IITA implemented the PROSAB project (Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in Borno State) in Borno State. The project promoted the use of improved agricultural technologies, including cowpea for sustainable agricultural production. The current PhD study aims to assess the impact of the improved cowpea on women farmers’ income and food security in the study area (Southern Borno State), ten years after implementation of the project. Specifically, the study will evaluate the changes in income as a result of adopting improved cowpea and the impact of the improved technology on the food security status of the respondents. The determinants of technical efficiency of the women cowpea farmers will be estimated and the constraints associated with the use of improved cowpea will be identified.
The proposal seminar has been prepared and presented. Currently, I am preparing to train the enumerators who will assist in collecting data from the respondents and then start the field survey (data collection).
Binta Ali Zongoma, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria.