Quality evaluation

Quality evaluation Recent drastic changes in Africa are also leading the transformation of regional agricultural system and its products. "Value addition" is a way to amplify the role of agriculture and its products that retains tremendous potential to improve the livelihoods of the poor in Africa. Thought it will be emphasized more along the changes of regional agricultural system, the fundamental scientific information to generate breeding strategies for value addition of various crops especially for local consumption is currently lacking.

To fill the gap, some activities were started to establish the methodology to evaluate the quality of grains and tubers, which can be utilized for the characterization of the germplasm in IITA GRC, and selection of breeding materials. Currently, FT-IR 6400 (JASCO), which facilitated with the units for both Near- and Mid-Infrared scanning capacities, Grain scanner (Satake) for the evaluation of grain size and color, color evaluation system consisted of standard color chart, handheld scanner and tablet computer have been introduced by EDITS project, and are available for use.

Current projects

Cowpea

  • Evaluation and Utilization of Diverse Genetic Materials in Tropical Field Crops (EDITS): Strategic approach to develop value-added cowpea varieties with higher food and nutrition quality (EDITS-cowpea)

Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) [http://www.jircas.affrc.go.jp] is implementing collaborative research project (EDITS Project) with IITA breeders and GRC to enhance germplasm utilization and breeding efficiency by providing updating technology and scientific information on yam (EDITS-Yam) and cowpea (EDITS-Cowpea).

EDITS-cowpea (2011-2015) is aimed to identify new breeding targets and to develop efficient germplasm evaluation techniques to generate improved genetic materials for value addition of cowpea grain, which is an important source for food and cash income in West Africa. The knowledge gained from this collaborative research will link the key elements for value addition of this crop and to facilitate the strategic approach to develop high-value cowpea varieties with improved grain quality and nutritional value to meet the regional preferences and requirements.

The project is currently developing the efficient measurement system of nutritional values in cowpea using FT-IR. And characterization of cowpea genetic materials and breeding lines is on going at the Bioscience Laboratory.