Two new Bt cotton varieties, MRC 7377BG11 and MRC7361BG11, have been approved for commercial release by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Materials.
The Director/CEO, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Alex Akpa told newsmen in Abuja Friday that approval was done at the Committee’s 26th meeting in Ibadan.
The crops, which are Nigeria’s first home-grown GM cotton, were developed by Mahyco Nigeria Pvt. Limited in collaboration with the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The varieties are expected to bring succour to farmers and boost Nigeria’s textile industry with a yield of 4.1 to 4.4 tonne per hectare as against the local variety’s yield of 600 to 900kg per hectare.
He said the new specie will save farmers contending with the local conventional variety which is no longer accepted at the international market.