SAMPEA 20-T Release USAID applauds Nigeria

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y Ene Okwanihe, Abuja

United States Agency for International Development USAID has applauded Nigeria on the commercialization of the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR)cowpea otherwise called SAMPEA 20-T, saying it represents tremendous progress in applying innovative approaches to advance Nigerian food security.

The General Development Officer, Biotechnology Specialist USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security Centre for Agriculture-Led Growth Dr. Faith B. Tarr, stated this at the launch/unveiling of the PBR Cowpea variety in Kano state North West Nigeria.

She stated that the completion of a critical stage within a continuous, iterative process by which new food security innovations are developed, disseminated, adopted, and used in order to enhance prosperity, resilience and nutrition.

“This achievement advances Nigeria’s capacity to harness science, technology and innovation to sustainably improve livelihoods and nutrition.It also demonstrates that research investments can support innovation systems to deliver a pipeline of new tools and approaches that improveagriculture, food security, and resilience in the face of complex, dynamic challenges that Nigeria may face in the future”

According to her, with this nutritious crop that resists insect pests, farmers would be able to significantly reduce pesticide applications and harvest bigger yields, supporting the nation’s economic development and food security while improving farmers’ livelihoods.

“In order for this new innovation to ultimately yield maximum impact, we must not only supply new technologies, but also strengthen the
enabling system of organizations, relationships, and processes that enable their dissemination and stewardship”

She further commended Africa Agricultural Technological Foundation and the
scientists at the Institute for Agricultural Research IAR who led the development of the PBR Cowpea, as well as the local entrepreneurs who will make the seed accessible to farmers.

Not leaving out the farmers Dr. Tarr also commended the farmers who provided feedback throughout the breeding and testing process for supporting Nigeria’s trailblazing efforts with Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea.

“Nigerians have realized more equitable access to the full tool kit of modern agriculture ― expanding the options available to innovators and farmers to address local food security and development
priorities,” she added.

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