Nigeria will be self-sufficient and stop importation of cowpeas in the coming years following research breakthrough on the development of Maruca Resistant Cowpeas and improved varieties that will lead to increase in yield, the Executive Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Dr. Dennis Kyetere, has announced.
Dr. Kyetere gave the news at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan during the annual review and work of the team of researchers involved in the public-private partnership Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea Project.
While paying glowing tributes to the African scientists and international development partners in the project currently being implemented in three other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi, the executive director noted that the deployment of the newly-discovered cowpea product “is capable of protecting itself from pest attacks.”
“This will make it easier and cheaper for farmers to produce cowpeas in areas where this pest is a problem,” he said.
Dr. Kyetere spoke further: “These varieties are expected to reduce grain yield losses caused by the Pod borer, Maruca vitrata, as well as reduce the need for insecticidal sprays. The expected yield improvement will impact household, national and global food security and economic status.”
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