Newly released GMO cowpea brings Nigeria closer to food security, local biotech experts say

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Australian scientist T.J. Higgins (right) and colleagues survey a field trial of GMO insect-resistant Bt cowpeas. Image: Mumuni Abudulai)

In a statement by the Cowpea Manager of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the approval [for the GMO cowpea] was granted by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties ….

PBR Cowpea was earlier in [2019] granted environmental release approval by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), which confirmed the product was safe for human, livestock and the environment and paved the way for submission to the National Variety Release Committee for consideration and registration as a commercial crop in Nigeria.

The newly approved SAMPEA 20-T has been bred for resistance to Maruca vitrata, a lepidoptreran insect pest that causes up to 90 percent yield loss in severe infestation cases.

Related article:  Spillover effect: Could GMO disinformation shake public trust in other scientific innovations?

Dr Denis Kyetere, Executive Director AATF, thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for releasing the new cowpea variety saying …. ‘Cowpea farmers have had to endure difficult farming conditions that required spraying dangerous chemicals on their crop to make a profit which is risking their lives” ….

The Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said …. ‘We all are marching towards food sufficiency and food security for Nigeria and all of mankind ….”

Read full, original article: Nigeria releases first transgenic crop – cowpea resistant to pod borers

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