Cowpea (Vigna unguiculate L. Walp.) is an economically important and versatile indigenous African legume, used for food, feed, soil fertility enhancement and income generation for farmers and food vendors. Nigeria is the leading cowpea producing country in the world, contributing to about 58 percent of the worldwide production. Despite availability of cowpea products, there exists minimal underutilization at households, commercial eating-houses in urban and semi-urban areas in Nigeria. This paper therefore summarizes key factors influencing the demand and utilization of cowpea products. The study identified factors such as income level of consumers, taste of the product, prices of cowpea and that of its substitutes, population level, daily food intake, long processing and cooking time as factors influencing production cowpea in Nigeria. In addition, long processing and cooking time were identified as major constraints of utilizing cowpea products and worth being exploited. Diversified value addition services along cowpea value chain were recommended so as to enhance the demand and utilization of crop.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series