Cowpea seed systems in the Central Region of Ghana: Agronomic performance and yield

Cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata L.Walp) is an essential legume crop in Ghana and mostly grown for its dry grains but the fresh leaves and pods are also consumed. The quality of seed determines the overall yield and market value of the final produce. The use of quality seeds helps greatly to achieve higher production per unit area necessary to attain food security However in Ghana, the seed system for cowpea is not well developed and there is always a challenge of obtaining high quality seed to plant coupled with the low yields recorded in farmers’ fields. This research was therefore conducted to assess the quality of cowpea seeds as marketed in the Central Region of Ghana. Seeds were obtained from 16 different agro input shops in the Central Region of Ghana including a sample from a wholesale shop in the Greater Accra Region which was used as a check. The seeds were evaluated in the field for two seasons using a randomized complete block design with three replications. Data were collected on agronomic, yield and related traits. The data were subjected to the analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedure using Genstat edition 12 and means were separated using least significant differences at 5% probability level. The yield, number of branches per plant, number of peduncles per plant and number of pods per plant all showed’ significant differences (<.001) among samples obtained from the 16 different agro input shops both in the minor and major seasons. Seeds obtained from the Grains and Legumes Development Board (GLDB) and Agrimat recoded the highest yield (2.6 and 1.89 tons ha-1 respectively). Seeds obtained from most of the agro input shops produced yields below the national average of 1.3 tons ha-` suggesting a problem with the cowpea seeds system in the region. For high yields, seeds should therefore be obtained from GLDB and Agrimat.
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Region Focus: 
West Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
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Open Access
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