By Chinyere Anyanwu
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has said that about eight million Nigerian farmers and their families will benefit directly for cultivating the newly launched pod borer resistant cowpea variety called SAMPEA 20-T.
AFAN President, Kabiru Ibrahim, said at the unveiling of SAMPEA 20-T in Kano on June 29 that over 12.5 million hectares of land will be dedicated to the production of the new variety across Africa where many millions consume cowpea on daily basis.
“I understand that Nigeria is the first country in the world to commercialise this variety of cowpea and hitherto, yield losses of 70-80 per cent are commonplace due to pod-borer infestation on cowpea. But the development and release of SAMPEA 20-T completely mitigates this phenomenon,” the AFAN president told the audience at the launch.
He urged farmers to embrace the variety and vigorously cultivate it to become prosperous as well as make Nigeria food sufficient, adding that, “I have personally tried the variety on a small portion of my farm and can attest to its potential to take the Nigerian farmer out of poverty as well as contribute immensely to the quest for food security in Nigeria.