Stakeholders engages local seed coy to multiply PBR cowpea

 Due to high demand of newly developed Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea, Agriculture stakeholders have engaged indigenous seed companies for multiplication and sales of PBR cowpea.

Speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Mr Mohammed Umar, Trial Manager for PBR cowpea Nigeria, said three seed companies have been assessed and engaged to carry out seed multiplication and distribution across country

Umar, who is also Head of Department, Plant Science, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), ABU, Zaria, explained that engaging seed companies alone would not be last stage.

“Engaging seed companies alone will not be the last stage; we want to also conduct promotion exercise and prioritise where cowpea is grown most that is about 24 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“We are targeting not less than 2,000 farmers across the country, though this is not the final figure, it will be that because last year we demonstrated in 9 states including FCT and we were able to retrieve the seed from the farmers where we had -harvest assessment for analysis.

“Very soon, we will inform the public where the seeds will be available,” he said.

He said the new cowpea variety would be monitored closely so as to maintain its purity of what is produced and avoid adulteration.

“Anything that comes new, we have to monitor it so that there is no adulteration, we want to maintain the purity of what we produced. This is because we have told farmers that the seed requires only two times spray.

“If farmers buy the adulterated seed and find out that it requires two times spray, then what we have worked hard to achieve will be wasted.

“We are on the production guide and very soon it will be where each farmer that buys the seed will be issued the guide on to produce for maximum yield.”

Umar said they are currently on the additional Insect Resistant Management (IRM) plant, to see other ways to support the current gene; the variety developed to extend the protection against the insect.

According to him, the new cowpea variety would the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as farmers will less chemical and save the money for other businesses.

He added that with less chemical in Nigeria’s cowpea, the country would go back fully into cowpea export for revenue generation.

He said: “we have put some brown seed on the pipeline to , if we that, it will give farmers their preference and also the consumers.(NAN)