Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin, AATF Director of Programmes and Commercialisation said the launch of GMO Cowpea calls for celebration as AATF has successfully delivered to resource poor farmers a product that will help revive cowpea production in Nigeria and by extension, the whole of Africa.
In a remark at the launch, Dr Okogbenin said: “Today’s event is in fulfillment of AATF core mandate of making innovative technologies available to African smallholder farmers.the development and release of this variety in Nigeria is as a result of a collaborative efforts between AATF, international and local partners”
According to him, the successes recorded has placed the PRB Cowpeas one of the most coordinated and outstanding examples of how partners operating from different parts of the globe can achieve seamless results through an effective and efficient management of time and resources.
AATF is active in 23 African countries, and is currently addressing challenges bedeviling key staples such maize, rice, cassava, cowpeas, bananas and potatoes in Sub-Saharan Africa region through the deployment of sustainable agricultural technology to small holder farmers.
In collaboration with National Research Institutes in Africa and others, AATF is creating an enabling environment for the increased uptake and use of agricultural technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa by addressing policy and regulatory bottlenecks and market failures which have for long being a bane to the introduction of agricultural technologies. To improve the enabling environment for technologies, AATF is supporting the implementation of an advocacy and information project called the Open Forum on agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), which supports deregulation processes and the development of efficient market systems and sound science-based regulatory systems.
AATF aims to reach 16 million smallholder farmers by 2022 through its own activities and those of its partners to drive expanded access, availability and use of innovative technologies to reach 40 per cent of the countries in SSA and increase the incomes of farmers adopting AATF technologies by 20 per cent. AATF has delivered on the promises made far back in 2009 when the PBR Cowpea project started, though the journey was long and tedious, it was worth the efforts, which has materialised in the tremendous results in delivering the product to Nigerian farmers.