The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) have launch the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea Variety in Nigeria.
This is even as the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello Zaria railed out the benefits of the beans variety, saying it is very significant scientific and economic achievement for the improvement of the production of Beans for Nigerians.
Prof. Mohammad Faguji Ishiyaku, IAR Executive Director said at the launch/unveiling of the variety in Kano on Tuesday that: “The economic benefit of this variety ranges from the savings our country will make from the excessive use of chemical insecticides which are imported from abroad thereby saving for us foreign exchange. It is estimated that between 17 to 21 Billion Naira will be saved annually from the reduction of use of chemicals insecticide in the production of Beans in our fields by planting this new variety instead of the non-resistant one”.
Prof. Ishiyaku who is the principal investigator for the Pod Borer Resistant project that bred the new variety also said SAMPEA 20 -T has the ability to protect itself against the destructive effect of a Pod boring insect which has been known to cost up to 80% yield lost on farmers field.
“Additionally, this new variety has yield margin of between 15 to 25% compared to conventional varieties currently in cultivation by farmers. The total benefit from the yield increase from is SAMPEA 20T is estimated to be 46 Billion Naira every year if one million Hectares of our land is grown to this variety,” he said.
He called on government and the organised private sector to invest hugely in research, stressing that the result will significantly turn around our economy. “This is one area were research has contributed immensely to the solving of food security problem. Cultivation of this new variety by our farmers will therefore reduce the cost Cowpea in our market which has skyrocketed in recent time. This will no doubt expand access to this protein-rich food material contributing to enhanced nutrition among our populace, especially in children”.