Wow! Cowpeas as they should look Two months of weevil work A little history first … Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) The CRSP Technical Committee asked: Why produce more cowpea if you can’t store it? Cameroon, November 1986 … Can we devise technologies that allow people to store their cowpea grain after harvest with minimal losses? Partnership between Purdue-Cameroon formed – one of the early participants was Ousmane Boukar; Laurie Kitch, Jane Wolfson, Dick Shade, Moffi T’Ama, Georges Ntoukam Monoculture Cowpeas Intercropped cowpea – real world Background CRSP Project (1987-2002) Goals • Create simple, affordable, low-cost, implementable technologies to preserve cowpea grain after harvest on low-resource farms in Cameroon (later West/Central Africa) • Do so via Collaboration Host-Country = USA Institution • Define success this way: success ONLY if technologies are accepted and used by farmers. Project Strategy & Tactics • Learn from the PEOPLE • • • • Jane Wolfson and Laurie Kitch Frequent visits Collaboration the key Work in villages with villagers • Create a smorgasbord of control tactics • Forget magic bullets • Simple, low-cost, available materials • No insecticides or chemicals 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Storage in Ash Breeding for storage Solar disinfestation Genetic transformation Air-tight storage COWPEA STORAGE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES (1987) The Triple-bagging (hermetic) technology Adoption survey report – 2006 • Economists interviewed randomly chosen farmers in seven West African countries • Plastic bagging technology had 23% adoption in Nigeria, 13% in Burkina Faso, etc. • Net present value of the technology was $186,000,000; original investment was ca. $3,000,000 • In sum: Big Benefits – what next? Bill & Melinda Gates Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) Project • 5 years duration • Improve bagging storage technology • Extend technology to 3.7 million cowpea farm families (47 million people) • Ten countries in West Africa • Budget $11.4 million Lessons Learned … 1. Respect the people you are trying to help. Lessons Learned … 2. Leave your arrogance at home Lessons Learned … 3. Think simple, low-cost, practical and using available materials Lessons Learned … 4. Try to understand how the people see the problem – see it through their eyes, not yours. Lessons Learned … 5. Goal should be to see your technology USED … Lessons Learned … 6. Plan for the loooooonnnnnng haul – 25 year time frame is a good one … Lessons Learned… 7. Helping poor people is awfully hard Lessons Learned … 8. Technology alone is never enough … Lee House … Technologies don’t spread on their own. They need help. They ALWAYS need help. Lessons Learned … 9. Mobilize talented people. If you do, you are 90 percent successful already. (Laurie Kitch, Jane Wolfson, Dick Shade, Moffi Ta’Ama, Katy Ibrahim, Boukar Ousman, Georges Ntoukam, Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer) Lessons Learned … 10. Accept it as your fate that you are a fund raiser and an awareness raiser. WHAT NEXT? Can PICS bags work for Other Crops? • Are PICS sacks effective against other pests on other crops? (Of course people were already trying them on other crops) • Will PICS sacks prove COST-effective for other crops? • Future question, given “yes” responses: Could users be persuaded to adopt them and the value chain developed? As regards “Do PICS Sacks Work” • What is the state of the art currently – what crops/crop products have PICS bags been tried with so far? • What might be the problems? – Mold might be a problem aflatoxin? – Insects might develop anyway despite low oxygen – Insects might bore holes in the bags – Seeds might not germinate The End Special Thanks to Lowell Hardin Russ Freed Pat Barnes-McConnell Katy Ibrahim Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer Dick Shade Laurie Kitch Moffi Ta-Ama George Ntoukam Venu Margam Dieudonne Baributsa Heather Fabries + MANY more! WOW!