Insect-resistant GMO crops make key contributions to fighting hunger, US State Department reports

kenya fao

Farmers around the world are using advances in agricultural science to increase crop yields, reduce the need for pesticides and feed hungry communities.

In Nigeria, for example, the government recently recommended the first strain of genetically engineered cowpea for commercial use, which was developed by Nigeria’s Institute for Agricultural Research at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in collaboration with a network of African, American and Australian researchers.

Cowpeas are a staple of Nigerian food, but the Maruca vitrata pod borer insects can destroy up to 80% of an ordinary cowpea crop. This can force farmers to use expensive and poisonous pesticides, often without adequate protective equipment. The modified cowpea is resistant to insects, reducing the need for pesticides.

Related article:  Paraguay approves GMO drought-tolerant soy, fourth major producer to green light biotech crop variety

“I haven’t wanted to plant cowpea here in Nigeria” because of the insects, particularly pod bore, wrote Onyaole Patience Koku, a Nigerian farmer, when the modified strain was approved in December. “But now farmers like me and across Nigeria have a way to defeat this terrible pest.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Studies show that genetically modified plants are safe, and since they are so successful at alleviating hunger, scientists have called on governments to approve the use of genetically modified crops to help feed people around the world.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend