AATF plans com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of pod borer re­sis­tant cow­pea

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ojoma Akor

The African Agri­cul­tural Tech­nol­ogy Foun­da­tion (AATF) is work­ing to­wards com­mer­cial­is­ing and mak­ing the Pod Borer Re­sis­tant (PBR) cow­pea avail­able to farm­ers.

AATF is car­ry­ing out the pod borer re­sis­tant cow­pea project to de­velop cow­pea va­ri­eties that are re­sis­tant to at­tacks from maruca, a pest that in­flicts se­vere dam­age to cow­pea on farmer’s fields.

The project aimed to boost cow­pea pro­duc­tiv­ity and util­i­sa­tion in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa through tech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions and in­tro­duc­tion of BT traits into farmer’s va­ri­eties which trans­fers re­sis­tance to the pod for im­proved va­ri­eties.

It is be­ing im­ple­mented in three Africa coun­tries, Nigeria, Burk­ina Faso and Ghana.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of AATF, Dr De­nis Kyetere, dis­closed this Mon­day dur­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual re­view and plan­ning meet­ing of the Pod borer re­sis­tant cow­pea project in Ac­cra, Ghana.

He said the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of the PBR would be dif­fer­ent from what might be used for con­ven­tional seeds, adding “be­sides reg­is­tra­tion, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and va­ri­ety re­lease of the prod­uct, there are re­quire­ments for reg­u­la­tory ap­provals by gov­ern­ments in the tar­get coun­tries for food, feed and en­vi­ron­men­tal safety.”

Kyetere said there are se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions if PBR is mixed with con­ven­tional cow­pea, adding that the or­gan­i­sa­tion will em­bark on in­ten­sive train­ing on stew­ard­ship with seed com­pa­nies and out grow­ers be­fore the re­lease of the prod­uct to farm­ers.

Declar­ing the meet­ing open, Ghana’s Deputy Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Dr Musheibu Mo­hammed-Alfa, com­mended AATF for bring­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies in agri­cul­ture for sus­tain­able use by small holder farm­ers across Africa.

He said key projects be­ing car­ried out by AATF like the Pod borer re­sis­tant cow­pea , de­vel­op­ing ni­tro­gen ef­fi­cient and wa­ter ef­fi­cient va­ri­eties, salt tol­er­ant rice and drought tol­er­ant rice will help im­prove nu­tri­tion and food se­cu­rity for mil­lions of Africans.

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