NIGERIA LAUNCHES INTO THE GM FIELD

About a month ago , Nigeria took a bold step into the controversial terrain of Genetically Modified Foods   by giving approval for the commercialization of a new Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea

With this, Nigeria hopes to score tremendous success capable of being emulated soon by Ghana, Malawi and Burkina Faso. Antagonists of the move are however not relenting. Please read the Press Release by the experts on the new crop

Press Release

Nigeria Commercializes First Transgenic Food Crop

[Abuja] December 15, 2019: The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved registration and release of a new Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea variety for commercialization.

The approval was granted by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, chaired by Mr. OladosuAwoyemi, at its 28th meeting which held in Ibadan on December 12, 2019.

The new cowpea variety, SAMPEA 20-T, was developed by scientists at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in collaboration with several partners under coordination of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

PBR Cowpea event AAT709A was earlier in the year granted environmental release approval by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), which confirmed the product was safe for human, livestock, and the environment. This approval paved the way for submission to the National Variety Release Committee for consideration and registration of the first variety containing the PBR Cowpea trait as a commercial crop in Nigeria.

The newly registered SAMPEA 20-T is highly resistant to Marucavitrata, an insect pest that causes up to 90 percent yield loss in severe infestation cases. 2

 

This new variety is early maturing (70 – 75 days) with semi-erect growth habit, insensitive to day-length, and has medium large white seeds. It is also resistant to Striga and Alectra, two notorious parasitic weeds.

The decision to release the variety means that farmers will have access to the seed that will help them significantly reduce the number of sprays they currently apply to their crop from 6 to 7 times to only 2 per cropping season and as a result realise better yield in quantity and quality. It will also contribute to addressing the national cowpea demand deficit of about 500,000 tonnes and also improve the national productivity average of 350kg/hectare.

During the Multilocational Advanced Yield Trials conducted across Nigeria’s agro-ecologies, researchers found SAMPEA 20-T to have high stable grain yield across the test locations. The minimum observed average grain yield increase over the conventional cowpea varieties was at least 20 percent, and this could be higher depending on severity of the Maruca infestation.

Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku, the Principal Investigator for the project and Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria said both the on-station and on-farm trials demonstrated the superiority of SAMPEA 20-T relative to local, recently released cowpea varieties and improved breeding lines tested. ‘SAMPEA 20-T is high yielding, early maturing and resistant to Striga and Alectra, which are major constraint to cowpea production in most producing areas in Nigeria and other dry savanna regions,’ said Prof Ishiyaku.

‘The protein and nutrients content of variety SAMPEA 20-T is the same as that of other conventional varieties meaning that the Bt gene that was introduced into the variety has no negative influence on the nutritional composition of both grain and folder,’ added Prof.Ishiyaku, saying that the newly released variety does not differ in any way from already existing cowpeas (beans) other than the improvements made.

Dr Denis Kyetere, Executive Director AATF, thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for releasing the new cowpea variety saying it showed its commitment towards improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmer. ‘Cowpea farmers have had to endure difficult farming conditions that required them to spray their crop 6- 8 times just to make a profit which could be a risk to their lives,” Said Dr Kyetere. 3

 

“We at AATF express our joy with Nigeria as it takes the lead in the deployment of necessary technologies that show promise of solving the challenges which farmers encounter on a daily basis,’ added Dr.Kyetere

Dr IssoufouKolloAbdourhamane, the AATF PBR Cowpea Manager attributed the successful registration and naming of SAMPEA 20-T to the hard work and synergy between the various project partners including researchers at the IAR “Our joint effort of over 10 years addressing one of the vital challenges faced by cowpea farmers in Africa has paid off. Cowpea farming will now become attractive even to the younger generation as it has become less cumbersome with the effective management of Maruca,’ he said.

Prof.GarbaSharubuta, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), the apex organization supervising all agriculture research in the country welcomed the release of the new variety saying that cowpea is a major staple and vegetarian source of dietary protein in Africa. “Its production has been stalled by severe attack of insect pests in both the field and storage. One of such notorious pests is the legume pod-borer, (Marucavitrata). This pest has singularly contributed to significant cowpea yield reductions on our farmers’ farms.’

Prof.Sharubuta said that ARCN’s resolve is to make improved technologies available and accessible to farmers to enhance their yields and income and result in improved livelihoods. ‘One such economically viable, and environmentally sound solution to the problem of the legume pod borer is development of cowpea varieties that have inherent resistance to the lepidopteran pod borers,” Prof.Sharubuta added.

The Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said the release marked a great and memorable day for Nigeria, Africa and the World at large. ‘We all are marching towards food sufficiency and food security for Nigeria and all of mankind. Bt Cowpea is certainly a major and strategic addition.”

SAMPEA 20-T is a product of over a decade of research efforts by a partnership that brought together Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, for genetic transformation, IAR, NABDA, ARCN, Danforth Plant Science Center, which provided regulatory support, and Bayer CropScience, which provided the Cry1Ab gene to the partnership on humanitarian basis, royalty free, so that small scale farmers can access it affordably. The project partnership was coordinated by AATF with sustained funding by USAID.

The Project also received support from other stakeholders in Nigeria including the National Association of Cowpea Growers, the National Association of Nigerian Farmers and local seed companies.

 

For further information Please Contact:

Professor Mohammad F. Ishiyaku,

Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria

E-mail : mffaguji@hotmail.com, Phone : +2348051316887

Dr IssoufouKolloAbdourhamane

Cowpea Manager,

AATF,

+2348128229436

i.abdourhamane@aatf-africa.org

 

Source=Personal Communication  Dr Saba Mohammed  (ABU)

 

Contact= Dele Fap

NIGERIA CRACKS DOWN ON GM FOODS !!!

The National Biosafety Management Agency has issued a seven-day ultimatum to departmental stores in the Federal Capital Territory to withdraw all Genetically Modified food items from their shelves.
The Agency gave the ultimatum in Abuja on Friday during a meeting with departmental store operators in the FCT.
Ebegba said the move was in line with the mandate of the agency to ensure safety of human health and the environment.
The director general said the agency would not hesitate to shut down or prosecute the management of any departmental store that failed to abide by the directive or contravened its Act.
He said that the meeting was to intimate the operators on the provisions of the Act establishing the agency so that they would not feign ignorance of it.

 

 

Source http://news-af.op-mobile.opera.com/news/detail/3c2a21fc3d9a9fef08b49befdcce82bf?country=ng&language=en&share=1&client=

ORGANIC, NON- GMO NEWS

April 2019
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In another major blow to pesticide manufacturer Bayer, a federal jury ruled that the company’s Roundup herbicide was the substantial cause of a man’s cancer and ordered the weedkiller manufacturer to pay $80 million in damages.
Promotion of GMO Impossible Burger at Natural Products Expo West denounced as deceptive
Natural food industry representatives and consumer advocates denounced Impossible Foods, maker of the GMO-derived Impossible Burger, for promoting their product at Natural Products Expo West, saying they were engaging in deceptive marketing.
Grinnell Heritage Farm is farming against type—and against the odds—in Iowa
One of Iowa’s largest community-supported agriculture farms, which is built around numerous conservation practices, fights for survival amidst economic and climate pressures.
Organic Farming and Food
Global organic area reaches another all-time high
Nearly 173 million acres of farmland are organic
The year 2017 was another record year for global organic agriculture. According to the latest Research Institute of Organic Agriculture(FiBL) survey on organic agriculture worldwide, organic farmland increased substantially, and the number of organic producers and organic retail sales also continued to grow, reaching another all-time high, as shown by the data from 181 countries (data as of the end 2017).
I’ve been a farmworker all my life. Here’s why you should buy organic food
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Organic Grain Collaboration releases report on increasing organic grain production in the U.S.
The U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration, in partnership with the Organic Trade Association, recently released a critical and timely report looking at the state of organic grain in the United States. The report, titled “U.S. Organic Grain – How to Keep It Growing,” drills down into the key barriers in expanding domestic organic grain production, and identifies specific industry solutions to overcome the hurdles.
Orange in tree
Organic Center pinpoints organic ways to defeat citrus greening
With the bacterial disease known as citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB), decimating millions of citrus crop acres in the U.S. and abroad, The Organic Center has published a grower guide and peer-reviewed paper to help organic producers identify organic strategies to deal with the disease.
Buy organic food to help curb global insect collapse, say scientists
A global review in The Guardian recommends moving away from intensive farming and slashing pesticide use to protect vital insect species.
Danish consumers are “world champions” of organic food, report says
Denmark is consistently the global leader in total organic food sales.
Straus Family Creamery celebrates 25 years of commitment to the planet, farmers, and organics
Straus Family Creamery, a leader in organic farming and sustainable dairy innovation, announces a year-long celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary to highlight its significant impact in the organic farming and organic food movement.
Market News
Pipeline Foods purchases SunOpta’s non-GMO and organic corn and soy business
Pipeline Foods LLC, a U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused on organic, non-GMO and regenerative food and feed, recently announced that it is acquiring the specialty and organic corn and soy business from SunOpta, Inc.
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As the devastating consequences of the recent flooding impacting the Midwest are being analyzed, one of the questions people are asking is, “How will this flooding impact organic production?”
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Non-GMO Trend
New partnership announced for climate-smart non-GMO corn production in Colombia
Agricultural research organizations are investing in high-yielding, non-GMO corn varieties to lessen Colombia’s large need for corn imports.
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Five-year-old Farmers Business Network Inc. (FBN) has inserted itself in the Big Ag GMO seed market—by introducing a brand of non-GMO seeds that due to advances in breeding, farming practices, and chemical formulas, can compete with GMOs.
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Regenerative Agriculture
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Source: Ken Roseboro/Editor <ken@non-gmoreport.com> April 2019

TWO NEW GMOs REPORTED

Two new soybean GMOs have been authorised in the European Union: SOJA DAS-44406-6 and DAS-68416-4.

These two new soybeans are included in the list of GMOs authorised for trade and in animal and human foodstuffs. This list now includes 14 soybeans.

The  detection and quantification of these new GMOs  are now being done in the shortest possible  time.

 

 

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