The federal government said it would release the Genetically Modified cowpea seed known as the Pod Borer Resistant to farmers in December this year.
Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Ibrahim Abubakar, said the seed was developed to help farmers reduce cost of production of cowpea and improve their production.
Abubakar, a professor, explained that the modified seed is resisting Maluca, an insect known for damaging cowpea, noting that the developed seed had been identified with high yield as it produces four tons of cowpea per acre.
In his words, “the seed can be harvested within 35 days. With the coming of this seed, the federal government has succeeded in addressing the problem of Maluca insect that is posing serious threat to cowpea farmers in the country. The seed needs only two spray of insecticide from planting to harvesting period.”
EduCeleb.com recalls that the research at ABU which was a collaboration with other agencies gave Nigeria its first genetically modified cowpea.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Garba Sharubutu, said Nigeria cannot achieve food security without adopting new technology in its farming activities.
“This new technology could be meaningless if farmers in the country fail to embrace what the new technology developed,” Sharubutu, an agricultural science professor said.
“I therefore urge farmers in the country to accept the modified cowpea seed to enable the country achieve its desired objective in respect of food security.
“Our farmers have been spending a lot of money on cowpea production, especially on insecticide, fertilizer and other supportive materials, and at the end of harvesting period, they go home with few tons of cowpea,” he said.