Ghanaian scientists have completed field trials on the pest-resistant Bt cowpea and will soon apply for commercial release of the country’s first genetically modified (GM) crop.
The GM crop is expected to help farmers dramatically reduce their use of pesticides, while also enjoying better yields of this important staple food.
Scientists said the trial results are currently being reviewed, after which an application for commercialization will be submitted to the National Biosafety Authority.
Currently, the scientists are producing more seeds of the pod borer-resistant cowpea variety to scale up production when the greenlight is eventually given for commercial release.
“Now, we are trying to multiply our Bt cowpea seeds in order to have enough seeds so that once regulators give the go ahead for release, we know that we have enough seeds to give whoever wants seeds,” Gloria Adazebra, a plant breeder on the Bt cowpea project in Ghana, said during an Alliance for Science visit to the trial site. Read more