TAMU-1, Increasing Utilization of Cowpeas to Promote Health and Food Security in Africa.
Texas A&M University as lead university
Increasing Utilization of Cowpeas to Promote Health and Food Security in Africa
U.S. PI & Institution and Collaborating Host Countries
Joseph Awika Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Susanne Talcott, TAMU, U.S.
Lloyd Rooney, TAMU, U.S.
Bir Bahadur Singh, TAMU, U.S.
Chitundu Kasase, U of Z, Zambia
John Shindano, U of Z, Zambia
Kalaluka Lwanga Munyinda, U of Z, Zambia
Kennedy Muimui, ZARI, Zambia
Abdul Faraj, Egerton University, Kenya
Prisca Tuitoek, Egerton University, Kenya
Amanda Minnaar, U of P, South Africa
Gyebi Duodu, U of P, South Africa
- Identify cowpea lines with high content of health enhancing compounds and their relationship to seed color and other seed traits.
- Elucidate the mode of inheritance (heritability) of selected bioactive traits in cowpea and genetic association between physical and bioactive traits.
- Establish strong linkages with HC policymakers and other stakeholders, and develop outreach strategies that will lead to long term increase in cowpea consumption for health and food security.
- Strengthen cowpea nutrition research in Kenya and Zambia
Many poor families in Sub Saharan Africa suffer high rates of malnutrition, especially among children, while diet-related chronic diseases have become a common phenomenon among urban African populations. Moreover, evidence indicates that childhood malnutrition may lead to increased risk of chronic diseases, e.g., cancer in adulthood. In fact nutrition-related chronic diseases are becoming increasingly common in Africa, especially in urban areas, thus putting a large strain on the limited health infrastructure and imposing economic burden among the poor.
- Associations between phenotype, chemical composition and bioactive properties determined.
- Ability of elite cowpea cultivars to influence cancer initiation and growth determined.
- Ability of elite cowpea lines to regulatory inflammation established.
- Ability of elite cowpea lines to influence cardiovascular markers established.
- F2 seeds obtained, filed crosses performed in Zambia and at TAMU.
- F1 and F2 seeds characterized for heritability of key bioactive traits.
- 30-40 stakeholders from HC trained on nutritional/health benefits of cowpea and the role cowpea can play in ensuring food security and overall health.
- Three graduate student trainees make progress towards graduation (2 from HC at University of Pretoria and 1 at Texas A&M).
- Research findings published in scientific journals – at least 2.