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May 27, 2024

AATF Seeks Support for Adoption, Production of Pest Resistant Cowpea

A delegation led by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has engaged in a strategic meeting with the Emir of Rano in Kano State, Ambassador Kabiru Muhammad Inuwa, in order to gain support and advocacy for the adoption and production of pest Resistant Cowpeas.

A statement signed by the Communication Officer (West and Central Africa) AATF, Okpani Alex Abutu, made available to newsmen on Monday, revealed that the meeting held at the Emir’s Palace in Rano was aimed at soliciting the Royal father’s support in promoting the uptake of PBR Cowpea, a genetically modified crop designed to withstand the devastating impact of pests and enhance agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

According to the leader of the delegation, Dr Jean Baptiste, AATF Regional Representative for West Africa, cowpea is a staple crop in Nigeria and plays a crucial role in addressing food security and nutritional needs, particularly in rural communities.

“However, the crop is often plagued by the devastating impact of pests, notably the maruca vitrata, which can cause significant yield losses if left unchecked,” he said.

While addressing the pest challenges, Baptiste said AATF and partners have developed PBR cowpea varieties engineered to resist the destructive effects of the pod borer, offering a sustainable solution to improve yields and enhance farmer livelihoods.

Dr Baptiste then called for the support of the Emir in championing its adoption within the emirate, saying that the crop has the potential to improve the livelihood of farmers due to its prolific nature.

He emphasized the role of the PBR Cowpea in reducing pesticide use, increasing yields, and improving food security for rural households.

He also noted that rigorous scientific research and regulatory processes were undertaken to ensure the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops, assuring the emir of the integrity and reliability of PBR cowpea varieties.

In his own remarks, the Emir commended AATF for its dedication to advancing agricultural technologies that benefit smallholder farmers and rural communities.

He reaffirmed his commitment to supporting initiatives that promote sustainable agricultural practices and enhance the resilience of local food systems.

The Emir pledged his full support for the promotion and adoption of PBR cowpea within the Rano Emirate.

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