Cowpeas

Cowpea is a short season crop but can grow in both seasons during the year. However, 90% of the crop is grown in the second rains from September and December each year. The distribution of rainfall often exceeds the optimal requirement of the crop during the March- June season and there is also a problem of insufficient sunlight to secure ripening and drying of the pods of the early crop. Disease and pest prevalence are also high during the first rains. Cowpea is the third most important legume crop in Uganda, cowpea in this regard presents a great economic potential.
The country is at the moment producing about 12,000 tons of cowpeas annually.

Types of the cowpea
Most of the trade in Cowpea takes place in dry grain form and on a limited scale green peas are also popular in the markets.
The different varieties of peas available to the farmers include the following:

A:bush type

Brown

NARO

K131

Brown

Local

K132

Brown

Local

B:climbing

Speckled in

NARO

Ngwiniware

Various shades of colour

Kisoro

Importance of Cowpeas
• Cowpea provides an estimated 60% of all the Protein diets to the Population.
• Dry seeds represent one of the least expensive protein rich foods for both the Rural and Urban use.
• The Crop serves to bridge the hunger gap between planting and harvesting periods of main food Crops.
• It is an inexpensive source of Protein for both Rural and Urban consumers.
• Cowpea contributes to the sustainability of cropping systems and soil fertility improvements in marginal lands by providing ground cover and plant residues, fixing nitrogen and suppressing weeds
• The surplus cowpeas are sold for cash

Areas that grow the Cowpea in Uganda
Cowpeas are grown in all regions of Uganda and more so in the drier Districts of the Northern and Eastern regions. The key cowpea growing districts include the following:
• Arua,
• Nebbi,
• Lira,
• Soroti,
• Kumi,
• Pallisa
• Tororo

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