News by Abdullahi Jalaludeen
The Federal Government has reaffirmed its determination in ensuring food security through research in the agricultural sector to of boost production in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Mohammad Sabo Nonono stated this during the launch of New Cowopea seed variety popularly known as SAMPEA – 20T , held in Kano.
The Minister who was represented by the Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha said since the beginning of the present administration, alot has been done in addressing farmers constrains geared towards boosting food production in the country.
“Apart from ensuring the functionality of most agricultural agencies , president Mohammad Buhari has enhanced the working abilities of agricultural base agencies ,such as the seed council,the soil science council,the variety release committees and National Biotechnology Development Agency among others”
Alhaji Mohammad Sabo Nonono noted that the President has also signed into law the plant variety bill, which was aimed at facilitating research in plant variety development in Nigeria.
He added that his Ministry was currently repositioning the agricultural extension services to avail farmers with latest information on varieties of agricultural products.
In a remark, the Executive Director Institute of Agricultural Research Professor Mohammad Faguji Ishiyaku, said the economic benefit of this variety include savings the country will make from the excessive use of chemical insecticides which are imported from abroad thereby saving 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.
In his speech, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, represented by the Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Usman Alhaji applauded the efforts of Scientist from the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development which include the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR)under for their selfless service that have resulted in solving one of the major challenges faced by farmers.
He said the unveiling of the new variety of the seeds has demonstrated clearly that when farmers and scientists encounter good policy environment, agricultural problems are solved bringing about the enhancement of food and nutritional security.
He regretted that in Africa generally, yields have been on perpetual decline, farmers are at the lowest part of the ladder struggling to feed themselves while in other countrues like America, Canada, Japan, China, Brazil, Argentina, Asia, farmers are among the richest.
Ganduje urged farmers to embrace the new Cowpea Sampea 20-T, with the aimed at boosting Cowpea production.