Nigeria is the first country to have approved the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) cowpea, and other countries are likely to follow suit.
Cowpea (popularly known as beans) is an indigenous African crop that forms a staple food and a major source of protein. It is an important source of income and also used for animal feed.
As the prime producer of cowpea in the world, Nigeria’s yearly average production is about 2.7 million metric tons
There are concerns that the release of this GM variety will contaminate natural varieties through cross pollination. This loss could signal a move towards food supply instability. Other concerns include the health implication of consuming the pesticide variety and the advent of super pests.
Another issue is whether the GM Cowpea will be labelled to ensure people can choose whether they want to consume it or not.
In this press conference we will examine the implications of Bt Cowpea for our peoples – small-scale farmers and consumers in general.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or [email protected]
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