Cowpeas account for roughly 16% of Kenya’s pulse production and 90% of the production is grown in Eastern Kenya, mainly in Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Embu, and Tharaka-Nithi counties.

Implemetation Details

Minor volumes are produced in Coast Province (3.7%), Rift Valley (1.6%), North Eastern (0.8%), Central (0.6%) and Western (0.3%) provinces. The legume is an important source of protein and calories, as well as vitamins and key minerals such as zinc and iron, and is therefore a key source of nutrition for rural families living in the Arid and semi-arid Lands (ASALs).

Through research, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has developed and released 4 new cowpea varieties which are high yielding with tolerance to Alectra vogelii parasitic weed.

These varieties includes; Kunde Tumaini, Kunde tamu, Kunde Soko and Kat-Kunde. However, these newly released varieties have not been integrated into farming and production systems to enable the farmers and traders to benefit from them. Moreover, the private sector players require the cowpea grain produced in sufficient quantities and quality.

This is achievable through organized production, marketing and enhanced consumption of cowpea grain by small holder farmers.