NGICA is a voluntary association of scientists and other stakeholders in cowpea.

NGICAs take a novel approach to maximizing the benefits of this crop in Africa NGICAs seek to address the entire spectrum of shortcomings of the cowpea production and utilization system.

Cowpea (or black-eyed pea) is a key food crop grown by millions of women and men farmers in Africa . It has great potential to help feed Africa 's growing populations but that potential is sadly unrealized.

Productivity of cowpea is far below its potential. Better genotypes are needed to:

  • Resist insects
  • Deal with parasitic weeds like Striga
  • Fill market demand

Cowpea faces many other constraints which limit production and availability to consumers:

  • Lack of a seed production and distribution system
  • An inadequate market information system
  • Diverse, sometimes disconnected and uncoordinated research efforts
  • Poor communication among researchers and to the public

One of NGICA's central approaches is to foster the application of the tools of biotechnology to the genetic improvement of cowpea.

NGICA works in partnership with the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), and includes many who work for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP); NGICA also help access resources (intellectual property, experience and advice) available from private-sector biotechnology companies.

Donors and supporters include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Kirkhouse Trust, USAID and others.
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