Biotech Updates

Nigeria Develops Maruca-resistant Cowpea to Reduce Farm Loss

April 3, 2013

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, has developed Maruca-resistant cowpea to reduce farm loss, Mrs.Rose Gidado, a biotechnologist, said. Gidado, Head, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Unit of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

She said that the feat was an activity under the Maruca-Resistant Cowpea project. News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Maruca-resistant cowpea project is a public-private partnership coordinated by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) to develop improved varieties of cowpea that can withstand the pod borer (Maruca vitrata), and enhance farmers' grains and fodder produce.

Maruca vitrata is a major pest that inflicts severe damage to cowpea. In severe infestations, yield losses of between 70 percent and 80 percent have been reported.

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