Using Cowpeas to Make Bread

Cowpeas as an ingredient in bread making? Yes! Senegalese bakers now use cowpea flour in their bread. This creates huge market opportunities for cowpea farmers.

Using Cowpeas to Make Bread

ICCO’s program STARS connected the producer organizations of cowpea farmers to the Senegalese Bakers Federation, the national union grouping over 100 bakeries. An official agreement has now been signed linking the farmers with the bakeries. Bakers committed to include at least 22% of cowpea flour in their bread making.

cowpea farmerThe bakeries appreciate the quantity and quality increase of the cowpea farmers. During the last months, STARS introduced farmers to new cowpea production methods which helped the farmers to increase the quality and quantity of cowpea production. They were linked to MFIs to get a loan to buy quality seeds and fertilizer, and they were trained on best agricultural practices on Farmer Field Schools; which helped to increase the quality and quantity of their production.

Creating these strategic linkages has opened up huge market opportunities for cowpea producers, who will see the demand for the cowpea increasing. And thanks to the agreement, bakers will be assured of stable inputs for their bread.

Last but not least, also Senegalese consumers will benefit, as they can enjoy locally produced, protein-rich bread. And bread is popular: apparently Senegalese eat 8 million baguettes per day. With a population of almost 16 million people that’s half a baguette per person per day.

Photo: a cowpea farmer

Training of Bakers

Following the signing of the agreement, ICCO’s program STARS trained 100 bakers in the regions of Thiès and Saint Louis on the techniques for incorporation of cowpea flour in their bread making.

training to make cowpea flower (1) bread made with cowpea

Photos: bakers receive training in using cowpea flour in bread


The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) program is a five-year program (2017-2021) implemented by ICCO Cooperation in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. Adopting the market systems development approach, STARS improves access to finance and markets for over 200,000 smallholder farmers with emphasis on women and youth in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal.

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