NEWS: Gates Foundation To Support Kano Gov’t With Pests-Resistant Beans Seeds

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Foundation To Support Kano Gov't With Pests-Resistant Beans Seeds


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the Kano State with anti-pests beans (Cowpeas) seeds as a means of boosting production of the crop, as well as the seeds in the state.

Addressing newsmen at a project review and workshop on Tuesday in Kano, the Foundation's Senior Programme Officer based in Seattle, , Lawrence Kent, said his team was in Kano to support the pest resistance cowpea project which is an effort being led by the government in with the African Agricultural .

“This is to bring the new improved insect resistant cowpea to Nigeria in collaboration with Institute of Agricultural Research, and other projects has led to the development of improved cowpea variety that is resistant to pests.

“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 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,” Kent said.

Kano State for Agriculture, Danjuma Mahmud, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Sadi Ibrahim, expressed the readiness of the state to embrace whatever outcome reached at the end of the workshop to boost the production and enhancement of the cowpea seeds.

“I am here for the workshop on the pest resistant cowpea seeds holding here in Kano. It is a welcome development that this workshop is taking place here in Kano because it is an agrarian state. So anything that has to do with agriculture, we are part and parcel of it.

“Whatever the outcome of this meeting, we are going to take it and work with it. We will sensitize our farmers on the new technology developed through this variety so that they can be able to adopt the cultivation of that variety for increase food production and ultimately food security in the state.

“Kano State Government on its own side, is doing a lot to ensure the availability of high quality seeds for its farmers,” Mahmud said.

One of the ways, he mentioned include seeds multiplication in the Ministry of Agriculture and Kano State Agricultural Development Authority where some seeds are procured from the National Institutes responsible for productions.

“We produce it to get certified seeds which we ultimately distribute to our farmers at subsidized rates.

“Currently there is an effort by this administration to sanitize the seed industries that are operating in the state. Towards this, we are making serious efforts in collaboration with National Agricultural Council, the State Consumer Production Council to ensure that our farmers and the general public are sensitised on high quality seeds,” he stated.

Also, the Director, Program Development and Commercialisation, AATF, Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin described Nigeria as the largest producer of cowpea in the , followed by its neighbour, Niger Republic.

However, he noted that Nigeria still import the crop from Nigeria which underscores the need to improve local production to meet the needs of Nigerians.

Okogbenin explained further that cowpea can be planted all over Nigeria, only that the challenges vary.

He stressed that with the enhancement of the cowpea seeds, up to 2 tons can be produced per hectare as against 0.2 per hectare which has so far been increased to 0.6 – 0.8 hectares but still not enough to satisfy the national demand with a population of 200 Nigerians.


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