• News - North West - Kano
  • Updated: April 02, 2024

Gates Foundation to provide pest-resistant seeds, gives reason

 Gates Foundation to provide pest-resistant seeds, gives rea

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is stepping up efforts to improve Nigeria's cowpea production by supporting the distribution of pest-resistant seeds.

"This is to bring the new improved insect-resistant cowpea to Nigeria in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research and other projects for the development of improved cowpea variety that is resistant to pests," said Lawrence Kent, the Foundation's Senior Programme Officer, during a project review and workshop held in Kano on Tuesday.

“As a result, farmers who planted this cowpea will be able to achieve high yield with less dependence on pesticides because the product itself is insect resistant.

“So we at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are proud to provide some financial support to the partners here in Nigeria who are now working to reproduce the seeds, both the foundation seed and the breeder seed, but most importantly the certified seed that is produced by eleven different Nigerian seed companies.

“We are supporting them to produce the quality seeds and make it available to the Nigerian farmers, so they can improve their yields and reduce dependence on pesticides and improve their livelihoods,” he added.

The Kano state Commissioner for Agriculture, Danjuma Mahmud, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Sadi Ibrahim, said the state is ready to embrace whatever outcome reached at the end of the workshop that would boost the production and enhancement of cowpea seeds.

The Director Programme Development and Commercialization, AATF, Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, in his remarks described Nigeria as the largest producer of cowpea in the world followed by its neighbour, Niger Republic. 

"The country meets up its demand by importing the product from Niger Republic, meaning that there is underproduction," he said.

"With the enhancement of the cowpea seeds, up to 2 tons could be produced per hectare as against what is now obtained of 0.2 per hectare," he said.

“This initiative has the potential to improve food security and livelihoods for Nigerian farmers,” he added.


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