Biotech Updates

Farmers in Burkina Faso Get Improved Cowpea Varieties from IITA

January 30, 2013

Burkina Faso recently released two improved cowpea varieties to promote better nutrition and boost farmers' income. The two varieties, IT99K-573-2-1 and IT98K-205-8, were developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with funds from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Both cowpea varieties are early maturing, high yielding, and resistant to Striga, a parasitic weed that limits cowpea's yields.

Burkina Faso farmers have given the new varieties local names, Yiis yande for IT99K-573-2-1 and Niizwe for IT98K-205-8, which means end to hunger. Dr. Satoru Murukana, a scientist from Japan International Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) said that the improved varieties offer a lot of benefits for farmers, such as escaping drought, early harvesting, and more income.

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