(Open Access Government) A biotech shield for cowpea against the major insect pests

Due to their tolerance for low rainfall and sandy soil, cowpeas are an important crop in semi-arid regions across Africa, but they are susceptible to pod borers. In the most severe cases, pod-borer infestations there can cause losses of more than 80 percent. With an insect-resistant cowpea variety, harvests could increase dramatically and farmers could reduce their pesticide use, benefiting human health and the environment.

The Danforth Center's Institute for International Crop Improvement has collaborated on a new variety of cowpea that would help provide a solution against the pod-borer.