Purdue Extension educators involved in Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) have set up a blog to share the upcoming PICS Nigeria Extension experience with anyone who is interested. Follow along with the updates and information here.
The goal of the PICS project is to have 50% of cowpea in West and Central Africa stored with non-chemical hermetic methods by 2011. The project hopes to have activities in 28,000 villages in ten countries: Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tchad, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. PICS also works closely with plastics manufacturers and the plastics supply chain to insure that cowpea growers have the right kind of containers for hermetic storage. At Purdue, four departments are involved: Agricultural Economics, Entomology, Food Science, and Youth Development and Agricultural Education. Dr. Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer, Associate Dean and Director of Internatinoal Programs in Agriculture, is the Principal Investigator of the project.
This is primarily an extension effort, with some research components. The main research role for Purdue Agricultural Economics is work on the effectiveness of alternative extension methods (e.g. village demonstrations, farmer-to-farmer, radio and other electronic communications).