The West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has organized a workshop program for cowpea value chain at the WACCI auditorium in the University of Ghana, to understand the cowpea value chain, challenges of cowpea production, ways to resolve these issues and how to increase its production in Ghana.
Some institutions like the Vinmark farmers, Federation of Young farmers, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development Board, GRAINS And Legumes Development Board, many other value chain actors, research institutes, traders and NGO’s, graced this program with their presence and made it a successful one.
In an address, Director of WACCI, Professor Eric Yirenky Danquah described cowpea as one of the most important food grain legume crops in Ghana. He added that the role cowpea plays in ensuring food security and in the improvement of the livelihood of both rural and urban poor in this country cannot be underestimated.
“ Given the potential of the crop in meeting the protein requirements of humans; providing feed, forage, hay, and silage for livestock and improving the fertility of soils, the benefits cannot be taken too lightly.”
He concluded by saying that the agribusiness could turn the country around and make the nation prosperous.
“ It is my hope that this workshop would come up with strategies that would ensure that high quality genetically improved cowpea seeds reach farmers and markets so that the benefits of genetically improved cowpea cultivars could be realized”.
In an exclusive interview with Dr. John S.Y. Eleblu, who is a Molecular Plant Breeder and a moderator at the workshop, he said the Centre will be working on four crops which is cowpea, rice, maize, and tomatoes, under the African union EU sponsored program which is a US$ 1m dollar fund to WACCI to work on the sustainable intensification of the production of these crops in Western and Central Africa for economic transformation
He further stated that, at the end of the workshop they would want to come out with a policy brief and a communiqué to the government which will indicate policy initiatives that the government should try to roll out in order to increase cowpea production and its utilization, and also create more employment for the youth since they want to involve the youth in the cowpea value chain.
By: Abena Agyakomah|universnewsroom.com