Comparative study of cowpea storage in different storage structures

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A survey conducted between August 2006 and April 2007 in cowpea growing communities in the Lawra District indicated that cowpea growers face many challenges in cowpea production. The most important of the challenges was the high incidence of insect pests during cowpea storage. The pest was considered as the single most important factor that limits the increase of cowpea production in the Lawra District, as this can cause total loss of the grain between 3 to 4 months of storage. The survey further revealed that the traditional storage methods were very ineffective in controlling the pest. The main objective of the research was therefore to use modern methods of pest control in cowpea. This research was carried out in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region, from August 2007 to May, 2008, within the environment of the farmers, who are to practice and adopt the technologies, The research design was Complete Block Design (CBD) with three treatments (Hermetic, fumigation and traditional mud-silos, with the traditional mud-silo being the control). Each treatment had three replications. Data gathered included germination test, moisture content, live and dead insect count, hole count and loss assessment. ii Finally, relevant conclusions and recommendations were made. Some of the relevant conclusions made were: i. Both the hermetic and fumigated techniques of storing cowpea were more effective in controlling the cowpea weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus), than the traditional mud silos. ii. The fumigated technique was more effective in maintaining cowpea quality than the hermetic technique. iii.The traditional mud-silo method of storing cowpea was highly ineffective in maintaining the cowpea grain quality for up to four months, and could even cause total loss to the grain if stored for more than the four months. It was recommended that the traditional mud-silo could be modified to make it more hermetic in storing cowpea.
Project report submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the Msc degree in food and post- harvest engineering.