Maize Breeding Programme
The main objective of the WACCI Maize Breeding Programme is to train students. The model maize breeding programme with farm houses and irrigations facilities allow students to engage in practical maize breeding activities prior to thesis research. The programme addresses constraints faced by farmers in West Africa.
Cowpea Breeding Programme
Cowpea is a major source of dietary protein and an important source of income for the resource-poor farmers in West Africa. Despite its importance, profitable cowpea production in the subregion is constrained by lack of improved varieties and biotic constraints such as diseases and pests and long cooking time. The need for high yielding varieties with resistance to diseases and pests as well as good cooking quality is urgent. The objective of the cowpea breeding programme is to develop superior cowpea varieties acceptable to farmers and consumers and also equip students with practical skills in cowpea breeding.
Sorghum Research Programme
Sorghum is a vitally important crop throughout Africa, yet it has received very little research investment especially in the area of gene discovery. In August 2013, Purdue University partnered with WACCI to develop a platform to identify gene functions in sorghum, especially those that play a role in crop yield, protein and starch digestion and resistance to striga, a parasitic weed that attacks sorghum root system. Recently, 557 EMS mutants and 30 diverse sequence-indexed sorghum lines were grown at the WACCI demonstration farm for phenotyping.