Cowpea crop improvement has played a critical role in IITA’s research endeavors since our inception. As one of the major staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa, cowpeas are vital to smallholder farmers and their livestock.

IITA scientists have developed several new and improved varieties that have consumer-preferred traits. IITA has also worked on and released cowpea varieties that are high yielding and fast maturing. Some of the varieties have resistance to some of the major diseases, pests, nematodes, and parasitic weeds. They are also well adapted to sole planting or intercropping.

Improved varieties have been released to 68 countries around the world.