The conservation of cowpea


Cowpea is one of the most problematic productions in terms of conservation. Indeed, losses are commonly 20 to 40% depending on the studies.

The main enemy of cowpeas, the producer’s scourge, is the cowpea moth. A variety of techniques are used to control this predator: use of pesticides, ashes, insecticidal plants, or solar tarpaulins.

Purdue University, in collaboration with INRAN in Niger, has developed a triple bottom bag or « PICS bag », Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage. This synthetic fabric bag, lined inside with two plastic bags (triple bottom), ensures that cowpea is stored for a long period of time without the use of chemicals.

Until now, researchers have believed that the mite cannot live without breathing air, which is why storing cowpeas in airless environments is an effective method of controlling this insect (principle of keeping cowpeas in ashes). The triple bagging technology results from the fact that once the bags containing cowpea are hermetically sealed and embedded in each other, no air entry is possible, resulting in the death of the insects and the stopping of the reproductive cycle.

But according to results recently published by Nigerian and American researchers, the bruche dies less from suffocation than from a lack of water. This is why researchers insist that cowpeas should be as dry as possible at harvest time.

When carried out correctly, the results of this technology are a total elimination of losses due to bruises.




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