Nigeria: Despite Controversy, Nigeria ‘Approves’ First Genetically Modified Crop

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On January 22, 2019 National Biosafety Management Agency in Nigeria approved  a genetically engineered cowpea for use by Nigerian farmers. The cowpea is genetically engineered to resist Maruca vitrata, a  pod borer insect  that can reduce yields by as much as 80%.

Nigeria’s Institute for Agricultural Research in partnership with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation have conducted research that show that the genetically engineered cowpea will reduce insecticide applications from about 8 to about 2 and up to a 20% yield increase.

Nigeria approved cultivation of genetically engineered cotton last year, but this is the first food crop approved in Nigeria.