Tuesday, October 5, 2010
On Bt cowpea: The result of the confined trial of Bt cowpea in northern Nigeria indicated that the gene which was used in transforming IT86D-1010 is very efficient against the insect pest. We discovered that the transgenic material did not sustain any damage on their pods as opposed to serious damage on untransformed material. This means increase in productivity with accompanying increase in the incomes of local farmers in the future when the variety will be adopted. Depending on the level of infestation, this could mean an increase of between 25 and 40% grain yield.
The issue of transgenics should not be viewed in isolation.
Transgenic crops have been consumed in other parts of the world and the people consuming these crops are human beings like us. The gene in question has been used in maize and other crops and has been consumed with no adverse reactions on humans or the environment, so we should not be an exception.—Mohammed Ishiyaku, Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria