More than 12.5 million hectares of land across Africa will be dedicated to the production of SAMPEA20-T, the new variety of Cowpea that was launched in Nigeria on Tuesday, President of the All-Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arc. Kabiru Ibrahim has disclosed.
Ibrahim also disclosed that not less than eight million Nigerian farmers and their families will benefit directly from cultivating the newly launched pod borer resistant Cowpea variety.
The AFAN President, who was speaking at the launch of SAMPEA 20-T for commercialisation in Kano said, “I understand that Nigeria is the first country in the whole wide world to commercialize this variety of cowpea and hitherto, yield losses of 70-80% are commonplace due to pod-borer infestation on cowpea but the development and release of SAMPEA 20-T completely mitigates this phenomenon.”
He urged farmers to embrace the new variety and vigorously cultivate it to become prosperous as well as make Nigeria food sufficient.
“I have personally tried the Variety on a small portion of my farm and can therefore 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr. Denis Kyetere has said Nigerian farmers would be guided in the breeding of the new variety of cowpea by a group of experts under the stewardship programme.