Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage


Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS1) was a five-year project to improve cowpea storage in West and Central Africa. The goal of the PICS1 project was to have 50% of the cowpea production in West and Central Africa stored using our non-chemical, triple bagging hermetic method by the year 2012. If 50% of cowpea grain at the farm level were put into airtight storage (PICS bags are one type), overall annual income in the region would increase by $255 million. The PICS1 project was implemented in 10 countries in West and Central Africa, including Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Togo and Chad. The PICS1 project goal was to disseminate the triple-layer sack technology in 28,000 villages in West and Central Africa. The specific objectives of this project were to:

  •      determine the best design for a one-piece commercially available triple-layer plastic cowpea storage bag;
  •      disseminate information on non-chemical cowpea storage methods to extension services, non-governmental organizations              (NGOs) and farmers;
  •      demonstrate the most effective cowpea storage methods in each village in the major cowpea areas of West and Central                    Africa; and
  •      develop a supply chain for triple-layer plastic sacks to make the technology available to farmers and provide opportunities            to local businesses.

This project was a joint collaborative effort involving various partners including international agricultural research centers, local and international development NGOs, National Agricultural Research Institutes, government agencies, private entrepreneurs, and farmers. At Purdue, four departments and one unit were involved including Agricultural Economics, Entomology, Food Science, and Youth Development and Agricultural Education and the International Programs in Agriculture. The PICS1 project was funded for $12.0 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation- www.gatesfoundation.org​.

For more information visit picsnetwork.org​

Video Highlights
Hannah Nsiah PICS Impact in Ghana
The story of Hannah Nsia, a successful fa​rmer in Ghana.
Kagoya The Uganda Community
Kagoya's Story from Namungalo, Uganda.
PICS Bag Opening Ceremony PICS Success in Africa
The Story of PICS at the Women's Fair in the village of Lankoue, Burkina Faso. More than 10,000 participants demonstrated how PICS bags have impacted the lives of African farmers.
Image Gallery