MSU Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
In West and Central Africa, cowpeas (blackeye peas) are an important source of protein for low-income consumers. While they are used for a variety of dishes, industrial processing of cowpeas is still negligible. This study examines the competitiveness of two selected processed products using cowpeas in Ghana. Using the data collected through fieldwork, enterprise budgeting and sensitivity analyses are conducted. One of the selected products is dry cowpea meal for preparation of kosei (cowpea fritters), which is expected to help street vendors who currently prepare kosei from cowpea grain using time-consuming methods. However, the study shows that under current conditions in Accra, industrially-processed dry meal would be too expensive for the majority of kosei vendors to use as the substitute for cowpea grain. The other selected product is a weaning food called Weanimix, which is a fortified product of the traditional roasted-maize-based weaning food, called Tom Brown. In addition to groundnuts, either cowpeas or soybeans can be used as a fortifier in Weanimix. The study shows that: (1) cowpeas could be pricecompetitive with soybeans as an ingredient in Weanimix, unless customers prefer soybeans; (2) typical difference in prices currently observed between Weanimix and Tom Brown seems to be much larger than the difference in the cost of production between these products; and (3) the level of processing and retail margins greatly affect the competitiveness of industrially-processed Weanimix, compared to Weanimix that could potentially be prepared and sold by grain and flour-type product vendors in the market.