Needs assessment of cowpea production practices, constraints and utilization in South Africa
Cowpea is an important grain legume. Research and production of cowpea have been neglected in South Africa in the last three decades due to lack of funding and interest of researchers to work on the improvement of the crop. The consequence of these are that cultivated varieties are unimproved and the lack of knowledge of good agronomic practices worsen the limitations to cowpea production. In order to ascertain the extent of these problems and determine the needs of farmers, a baseline survey was conducted among cowpea production provinces of South Africa (Limpopo, Kwazulu-Natal and Mpumalanga) between 2004 and 2006 cropping seasons. Questionnaires were administered among farmers in co-operative societies. Data were collected on cropping systems, cultural practices, yield levels, constraints to production and utilization. Responses obtained from farmers were analysed using non-parametric or descriptive statistics. The data was summarised into averages, percentages or ranges. Results identified major production practices, importance and constraints to cowpea production in the provinces. The results form a useful pathway for needs towards the development of well-tailored breeding objectives to improve cowpea production in South Africa. 
Indigenous cowpea production and protection practices in Benin
A survey involving more than 129 farmers was carried out in 1998 and 1999 in Ouémé, Benin, to investigate the importance of pests and diseases as constraints to cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) production. Results indicated that in the Ouémé valley Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc. and Aphis craccivora Koch are specific concerns. Weeds such as justicia anselliana (Nees) T. Anders, Ipomoea aquatica Forsskal and Commelina erecta L. were also reported as being troublesome. On the Ouémé plateau Imperata cylindrica L. Beauv. was reported to be a major weed. Callosobruchus maculatus Fab. and Bruchidius atrolineatus Fab. may cause up to 100% loss within a few months in storage. Birds and rodents were also reported. In certain areas on the plateau, farmers have developed pest control methods based on indigenous knowledge. In the valley the population density of Eichhornia crassipes (Mart) Solms. during flooding is used by farmers to predict aphid infestation. A number of plant species used to protect cowpea were reported. In Gbékandji village, natural enemies such as Rhabdepyris sp., Evania sp., and Chelonus sp., were observed. They were rare in the valley, where farmers rely on chemical control. Farmers reported alternative hosts of cowpea pests from the families Fabaceae (eight species), Mimosaceae (two species), Ceasalpiniaceae (five species), Capparidaceae (two species) and Pontederiaceae (one species). Based on the hierarchy of constraints, sustainable integrated pest management technologies are being developed with farmers using a participatory approach. 
Factors Influencing Adoption of Improved Cowpea Production Technologies in Nigeria
The paper investigated the socio-economic characteristics and technology-related factors influencing adoption of improved cowpea production technologies among farmers in Bauchi and Gombe States of Nigeria. Data for the study were collected through the use of structured interview schedule from a randomly selected sample of 130 farmers. Descriptive statistics and step-wise multiple regression were used to analyze the data. The findings indicated that majority (69.3%) of the farmers were between 30 – 49 years with a mean family size of seven persons. Seventy percent of them were literate and 57.7 % belonged to one farmer/cooperative 
Socio-economic Factors Influencing Adoption of Dual-purpose Cowpea Production Technologies in Bichi Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria
This study investigated the socio-economic factors influencing adoption of dual-purpose cowpea production (DPC) technologies among farmers in Bichi Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria. Data were collected with the use of questionnaire administered to 200 farmers selected randomly. Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and step-wise multiple regression were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that 35.7% of the farmers were within 41-50 years. The largest percentage (24.5%) had a family size within the range of 11-15, with a mean of 8. Majority of the farmers had formal education, ranging from primary to post-secondary. They had more than 1ha of land, with a mean of 2.2ha. They all participated in one form of farmers’ organization or the other. The mean adoption rate was 77.5%. The use of improved seeds and insecticides had the highest adoption score (100%). Result of the correlation analysis indicated that level of education, household size, farming experience; number of ruminants owned, social participation and contact with extension agents were significantly related to technology adoption and hence, influenced adoption of DPC production technologies. Moreover, level of education, social participation and extension contact made the highest contribution in explaining variations in the differential adoption of the DPC production technologies among the farmers. It was concluded that educational level, social participation and extension contacts were the major socio-economic factors influencing adoption of the DPC production technologies. The need for improvements in promoting these factors, were therefore recommended. 
Economics of Insecticides Usage among Cowpea Farmers in Kaduna State, Nigeria
his study carried out an economics of insecticides usage among cowpea farmers in Kaduna State. Specifically, the study estimated insecticides marginal productivity; the degree of response of demand for insecticides to changes in its prices and the return to cowpea production due to insecticides usage. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 150 cowpea farmers who used insecticides in controlling pest in cowpea production in the study area. Information collected includes those of inputs quantities and prices as well as quantity of cowpea output and its farm prices. The logistic specification of the damage control model and its corresponding demand function were used to estimate insecticides marginal productivity and the degree of demand’s response to changes in insecticides prices respectively. A budgetary analytical model was used to estimate the return to cowpea production. The study showed that insecticide marginal value product was Naira 310.06 and the ratio of MVP to insecticide price was 0.48. This is an indication that insecticides were not efficiently utilized. The demand elasticities for the various insecticides were greater than unity indicating that demand for insecticides used in cowpea production in the area studied was own price elastic. The study also found that a return of Naira 787.52 per hectare was obtained due to insecticide usage. 
 Asiwe, J.A.N., 2009. Needs assessment of cowpea production practices, constraints and utilization in South Africa. African Journal of Biotechnology, 8(20).
 Kossou, D.K., Gbèhounou, G., Ahanchédé, A., Ahohuendo, B., Bouraïma, Y. and van Huis, A., 2001. Indigenous cowpea production and protection practices in Benin. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 21(2), pp.123-132.
 Agwu, A.E., 2004. Factors influencing adoption of improved cowpea production technologies in Nigeria. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 11(1), pp.81-88.
 Sani, A., Abubakar, B.Z., Yakubu, D.H., Atala, T.K. and Abubakar, L., 2014. Socio-economic factors influencing adoption of dual-purpose cowpea production technologies in Bichi Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.257-274.
 Omolehin, R.A., Adeola, S.S., Ahmed, B., Ebukiba, E.O. and Adeniji, O.B., 2011. Economics of insecticides usage among Cowpea farmers in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, pp.353-362.