During the late 1960s, the Green Revolution in South Asia focused research and development efforts on boosting production of rice and wheat in response to the specter of famine. Though yields of these staple cereals increased phenomenally, the transformation that resulted is thought to have caused the displacement of legumes as an unintended side effect.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Melinda Smale from Michigan State University is investigating the broader question of “How Input Subsidy Policies Change the Cowpea Farming Landscape in West Africa”.
Cowpeas provide an important source of proteins and micronutrients in local diets. What’s more, farmers can harvest, consume, and sell cowpeas during the hungry season, and they are adapted to drought.