SMP-23003 | Launching West African cowpea as ingredient and consumer food in the EU

Bert van ReesProject

Projecttitel: Launching West African cowpea as ingredient and consumer food in the EU
Projectnummer: SMP-23003
Land: DR Nigeria
Looptijd: 2023
Budget: € 40.000
Projectleider: Elisabeth Obeng
Kennisinstelling: Wageningen University & Research

Cowpea supports the diversification of their protein mix, has interesting functional features in food processing. Viable business cases and reliable export value chains can be developed based on cowpea flour, with applications in plant milk or as ingredient in bakeries, meat replacement products or other consumer foods.

For producers in West Africa, the transformation of a low-yielding staple legume into a high-value export crop for industrial use, brings substantial potential for inclusive agricultural development, soil health and increased food security.

We intend to take this consortium to the next level and start experimenting in practice with business and supporting partners, in particular to further explore the demand in Netherlands.

By piloting the use of cowpea as plant milk and as an ingredient in other plant-based consumer food, and matching the demand from EU businesses in the B2B market to suppliers of cowpea flour from West Africa, the consortium will lay the basis for a consumer-oriented quality-controlled export supply chain for cowpea.

Cowpea, soyabean and Bambara groundnut are included in African export promotion strategies yet such policies fail to deliver due to a lack of global demand. This project delivers on connecting between the interests of European consumer food companies and African suppliers.

A consortium has come together around the vision that cowpea flour from Nigeria and Ghana is an interesting ingredient for consumer food companies in the EU. With investment from WUR and partners, we have started forming a consortium that brings together SME food companies who are keen to explore and exploit this potential together with SME actors of the supply chain (producers, aggregators, traders) and of the enabling environment (investors, regulators, export promotion council) in Ghana, Nigeria and the Netherlands.

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