In the Media

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In the Media

Improved NEWEST Rice variety to African farmers

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, rice is the fastest growing source of food in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and African farmers are doing what they can to increase production to keep pace. The Current data from USDA showed that 12.5 million tons of milled rice is being produced, however there is a 12 million tons deficit that is costing Africans about $5.7 billion annually to import. Most of the Sub-Saharan Africa rice production is in the hands of small-scale farmers who struggle with nitrogen deficient soils, saline soils and drought conditions.


Researchers inventing pod borer resistant cowpea for Africa

Cowpea, popularly called beans in Nigeria, is one of the country’s important food crops massively destroyed by a pest called pod borer or Maruca, which damage cowpea pods on farm fields thereby causing heavy losses to farmers and reducing cowpea productivity in the country and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Prof. Mahammad Faguji Ishiyaku, a plant breeder, Nigeria’s annual consumption of cowpea runs to several millions of tons and constitute a greater percentage of the world’s consumption of cowpea.


Nigeria develops Maruca-resistant cowpea to reduce farm loss, says a bio-technologist

Abuja, March 18, 2013 (NAN) The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, has developed Maruca-resistant cowpea to reduce farm loss, Mrs Rose Gidado, a bio-technologist, 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 on Monday.

She said that the feat was an activity under the Maruca-Resistant Cowpea project.


Why Jonathan should sign Biosafety Bill – Prof Ishiyaku

Prof. Muhammad Faguji Ishiyaku is the Dean of Student Affairs of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Programme Leader of Biotechnology Research Programme of the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) of the University. In this exclusive interview with Abdallah el-Kurebe who was at a Media Training organized by Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) at the Institute, Prof. Ishiyaku spoke on Biosafety & Biotechnology and the need for President Jonathan to expedite assent on the Biosafety Bill and other issues relating to mass food production. Excerpts:


Ghana to begin GMO testing

Adelaide Arthur (11 October): Confined Field Trial (CFT) of three genetically modified crops may start next year, according to Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Ibrahim Kwasi Atokple.

Scientists at various Institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are expecting permits from the National Biosafety Committee to enable them proceed with the evaluations.  Seeds for genetically modified rice, cowpea and sweet potatoes are to be tested for essential traits that will enhance crop production in the country.


Using Biotechnology Applications

By Gabriel Agbeja

The United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives to make or modify products or processes for specific uses.

Biotechnology is a field of applied biology which involves the use of living organisms and bio-processes in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bio-products.

Biotechnology also utilises these products for manufacturing purposes.


Nigeria Passes Biosafety Bill

The Nigerian Senate enacted the Biosafety Bill into law on June 1, 2011, after several years of stakeholders' discussion and debate. The Bill went through the Senate procedure by Resolution and Concurrence after going through three readings. It was concurred without amendments to the draft Bill passed by the House of Representatives on July 20,� 2010. The law now awaits Presidential assent upon which implementing regulations will be developed to pave way for its operationalization.


Nigerian Biosafety Bill may fail, say scientists

Supporters of genetically modified (GM) crop technology fear that their four-year effort to get a biosafety bill enacted in Nigeria may have been in vain if the country's upper house fails to pass it before its tenure ends next month (29 May).

The 2007 bill, passed by the country's lower chamber last July, is with the Senate. It is one of more than 400 bills introduced to the National Assembly between 2007 and 2010 that were highlighted by the Nigerian Bar Association last December as needing passage before 29 May.


Scientists learn from Nigeria's Bt cowpeas

Cowpeas have emerged as one of the most economically important African grain legume and a major item in the regional trade especially within West and Central Africa. This trend has urged crop science researchers in the region to engage in research about the genetically modified cow pea species which is at field trial stage in Nigeria.


Nigerian scientists to revolutionise cowpea breeding

Scientists in Nigeria report they are getting closer to developing tools that will fast-track cowpea breeding. The protein-rich legume is mostly grown in a sub-Saharan African savannah environment.

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, are a step closer to developing tools, through genome mapping, that are said to "facilitate progress in the conventional development of improved cowpea varieties with traits such as drought-tolerance."



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