Burkina Faso was the third largest cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] producing country in West Africa in 2017. Cowpea is the fourth leading staple grain legume crop produced in the country. However, its production is hampered by several constraints, among which parasitic weeds are some of the most devastating. Alectra vogelii Benth. and Striga gesnerioides Wild Vatke are the main parasitic weeds in cowpea production in Burkina Faso. This study aimed at determining farmers’ awareness about Alectra vogelii and their cowpea varietal preferences. To achieve this goal, information was obtained via a semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussions in three districts (Koupela, Tenkodogo and Toussiana) of Burkina Faso, where Alectra vogelii occurs. The results showed that farmers in Toussiana district were more aware of this weed than in the other districts. Cowpea yield loss attributable to Alectra vogelii was up to 100%. Farmers’ preferred traits were short-season varieties, with large size, rough and white grain. However, erect varieties were selected in Koupela and Tenkodogo districts; prostrate varieties were preferred in Toussiana district.
Key words: Alectra vogelii, awareness of Alectra, parasitic weed, preference, Vigna unguiculata, yield loss.
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