AATF Engages  Emir Of Rano To Foster Support For PBR Cowpea Uptake

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

In a proactive move to garner support and advocacy for the adoption of Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea, a delegation led by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has engaged in a strategic meeting with the Emir of Rano, Ambassador Kabiru Muhammad Inwua.

According to a statement signed by the Communication Officer (West and Central Africa) AATF, Okpani Alex Abutu,  made available on Monday April 8, 2024, the meeting held at the Emir’s Palace in Rano aimed to solicit his esteemed support in promoting the uptake of PBR Cowpea, a genetically modified crop designed to withstand the devastating impact of pests and enhance agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

The leader of the delegation, Dr Jean Baptiste, AATF Regional Representative for West Africa said that cowpea, a staple crop in Nigeria, plays a crucial role in addressing food security and nutritional needs, particularly in rural communities. “However, the crop is often plagued by the devastating impact of pests, notably the Maruca vitrata, which can cause significant yield losses if left unchecked”. 

Baptiste said that to address the pest challenges, AATF and partners has developed PBR cowpea varieties engineered to resist the destructive effects of the pod borer, offering a sustainable solution to improve yields and enhance farmer livelihoods.

The Emir of Rano.

He therefore solicited the support of the Emir in championing its adoption within the emirate saying that the crop has the potentials of improving the livelihood of farmers due to its prolific nature. 

Dr Baptiste emphasized the role of the PBR Cowpea in reducing pesticide use, increasing yields, and improving food security for rural households. 

He also noted that rigorous scientific research and regulatory processes was undertaken to ensure the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops, assuring the Emir of the integrity and reliability of PBR cowpea varieties.

In response, the Emir commended AATF for its dedication to advancing agricultural technologies that benefit smallholder farmers and rural communities. 

He reiterated his commitment to supporting initiatives that promote sustainable agricultural practices and enhance the resilience of local food systems. Moreover, the Emir pledged his full support for the promotion and adoption of PBR cowpea within the Rano Emirate.

Founded in 2003 to address Africa’s food security prospects through agricultural technology, AATF believes that the agricultural sector is a key foundational pillar as Africa consolidates its economic growth and carves out its new position as a major global economic powerhouse and the next growth market in the world. 

It was formed in response to the need for an effective mechanism that would facilitate and support negotiation for technology access and delivery and formation of appropriate partnerships to manage the development & deployment of innovative technologies for use by smallholder farmers in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).

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