Nigeria approved two genetically modified varieties of cotton for use by the nation’s farmers to help boost supply to its textile industry and cut lint imports of as much as 115 billion naira ($319 million) a year, officials said.
The strains were modified …. to include a gene that makes it pest resistant, according to Rose Gidado, assistant director at the Abuja-based National Biotechnology Development Agency.
The changes make it possible for these cotton types to overcome bollworm, “the most devastating pest in cotton production,” increasing output more than threefold to more than 4 tons per hectare, Gidado said ….
Nigeria currently produces 60,000 tons of cotton annually …. Cotton farmers expect output in the coming season to reach at least 150,000 tons, as farmers deploy the new cotton seeds aided by credit facilities provided under a central-bank program in support of agriculture.
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