GE Cowpea Seeds to be Available for Nigerian Farmers in 2019
Nigeria's National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) head announced that genetically engineered (GE) cowpea will be commercially available in the country on or before 2019. Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, NABDA Director General, mentioned this during the November meeting of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB). Prof. Ogbadu said that GE cowpea is currently under field trials and has shown positive results.
"Rules are being followed in its production. Our Ethical Committee is working day and night to ensure that no rule is breached. Nigerians should be assured that the GM beans and other crops which will be available later in the country would be safe for consumption. In 2-3 years' time, cowpea should be ready in commercial quantity in the country," Prof. Ogbadu said. She also stressed that GM foods are not unhealthy, highlighting the initiative of 100 Nobel Laureates who signed a petition to guarantee the safety of GE crops.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)