• Kenya Cowpeas
  • Kenya Cowpeas
  • Kenya Cowpeas
  • Kenya Cowpeas

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Common Name Black eyed pea, Crowder pea, southern pea, Ketjang
Size 8-20 inch stalks, 6-10inch long pods
Variety Katumani, kvu, kunde, mtw, machakos, kitui black eye
Season Summer (December through March)
Packing and storage Treated gunny or PICS bags, incorporate with an insecticide, storage bags placed on pallets not floor, store in ash for small amounts of seed, dried cowpeas in waterproof containers
Transport conditions Passively ventilated transport containers,
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Kenya cowpeas are well known all over the world for its exceptional quality seeds and leaves. This is most probably because of the good soils and great climatic conditions in which they are grown. Cowpeas in Kenya is produced in the eastern region, mostly in Makueni and Machakos counties. Its plant is considered valuable since it easily restores soil fertility as it fixes atmospheric nitrogen to the soil.

Its ability to mature early also means it produces food earlier than most crop varieties. It strives best in semi-arid regions and requires minimal effort in regards to farming input. It is used mostly for intercropping with other plants. Kenya cowpeas are also used as cattle feed.

The cowpeas, which is scientifically known as Vigna Unguicullata, is a leguminous plant. In other parts of the world, cowpeas are also known as black-eyed peas, Crowder peas, southern peas, or the ketjang.

Flowers of the cowpeas plant usually come out in multiple racemes on 8-20 inch stalks that rise from the axil. Typically, about two or three and sometimes four pods can be found on each stem. Cowpea pods are cylindrical, curved and are usually between 6-10 inches long.

The most common Kenya cowpeas varieties include the katumani, Kunde, Machakos, Kitui black eye, KVU and MTW. Cowpea production in Kenya is mostly carried out in the Eastern and Western regions of Kenya. Some parts of Nyanza province also carry out cowpea farming.

During the storage of cowpeas, it is essential to incorporate the seeds with insecticide to prevent damage by pests. For small amounts of seeds, it is necessary to mix with ash to prevent pest infestation. The storage bags are placed on pallets and not on the floor so that the seeds don’t acquire moisture. Moisture leads to the growth of mold on the peas as well as a decrease in quality. Cowpeas are stored in gunny bags or PICS bags. Dried cowpeas can be stored in waterproof containers.

Cowpeas do well in temperatures ranging about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil moisture should also be adequate to support germination and growth.cowpeas do not thrive in very wet conditions. If planted in very cool, moist soils, the seeds are likely to decay. In Kenya, cowpeas are planted during summer; this is from December through March.

The transport of cowpeas should be done using containers that are partially ventilated. Air circulation is vital in keeping the crops fresh. If transport conditions are not compliant to container flooring and water limits, damp conditions might lead to the seeds rotting and mold growing on them.

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Other Grains and Pulses from Kenya: Kenya chickpeas, Kenya Cowpeas, Kenya Rice, Kenya Teff,

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