Farmers urged to properly store cowpea

A total of 2,300 farming communities in the Northern Region are benefiting from a training programme that would ensure proper storage of cowpea, to enhance food security in the country.

The programme dubbed; Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS), is a regional project involving 10 countries in West Africa, and is being supported by World Vision and the Ministry of Food and Agricultural (MOFA).

Dr Dieudonne Baributsa, Team Manager of the project, at the launch of the programme in Tamale on Tuesday, told selected beneficiaries and MOFA officials to ensure that farmers adopt proper storage facilities using bags that have polythene inserted in them.

He noted that without proper storage of the cowpea, weevils would infect them and destroy the beans, which he said could lead to food insecurity, adding that, the use of chemicals in food storage could also result in health implications.

Dr Baributsa said the projects also had the potential of reducing poverty levels among the people and raising their living standards.

Mr James Asedem, Savelugu Base Operation Team Leader of World Vision, said the project falls in line with the programme objectives of World Vision, adding that, cowpea is a very important crop in the diet of rural and urban communities in the Northern Region.

He said cowpea is a key cash crop for many rural communities and contributes to the livelihoods of rural households and urban traders, saying that, improved cowpea production would serve to protect against the sale of other food crops.

Mr Asedem said cowpea farmers had over the years experienced the highest post harvest losses due to ‘bruchid’ infestation.

He noted that due to poverty, some of the farmers rush to sell their cowpea soon after harvest at a time when prices of the crop were lower.

Source: GNA

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