…says it will save Nigeria billions annually
The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello Zaria has said the launch of the new beans variety called SAMPEA 20-T is a very significant scientific and economic achievement for the improvement of the production of beans for Nigerians.
The IAR executive director, Prof. Mohammad Ishiyaku said at the launch/unveiling of the variety in Kano that “the economic benefit of this variety ranges from the savings our country will make from the excessive use of chemical insecticides which are imported from abroad thereby saving for us foreign exchange. It is estimated that between 17 and 21 billion naira will be saved annually from the reduction of use of chemicals and insecticide in the production of beans in our fields by planting this new variety instead of the non-resistant one”.
Ishiyaku who is the principal investigator for the Pod Borer Resistant project that bred the new variety also said SAMPEA 20 -T had the ability to protect itself against the destructive effect of a pod boring insect which has been known to cost up to 80 per cent yield loss on farmer’s field.
“Additionally, this new variety has yield margin of between 15 to 25 per cent compared to conventional varieties currently in cultivation by farmers. The total benefit from the yield increase from SAMPEA 20T is estimated to be 46 billion naira every year if one million hectares of our land is grown to this variety,” he said.
He called on government and the organised private sector to invest hugely in research, stressing that the result would significantly turn around our economy. “This is one area where research has contributed immensely to the solving of food security problem. Cultivation of this new variety by our farmers will therefore reduce the cost of cowpea which has skyrocketed in recent time in our markets. This will no doubt expand access to this protein-rich food material contributing to enhanced nutrition among our populace, especially in children,” he stated.
He commended AATF for the logistical and financial support for the calumniation of around 15 years of scientific research leading to the development of the variety. “It is an exemplary one where public sector can leverage on the capacity of private sector to solve societal problems. The gene for which this variety was developed was donated to our institute royalty free and this variety is developed for the common good of resourceful poor farmers in Nigeria,” he added.