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Biotech innovation addressing diseases in potato – Researcher

Genetically modified potato varieties are undergoing field trials and regulatory assessment for massive cultivation in Nigeria. The varieties, according to experts, are meant to address…

Genetically modified potato varieties are undergoing field trials and regulatory assessment for massive cultivation in Nigeria.

The varieties, according to experts, are meant to address diseases related to potato farming in the country.

Dr Charles Amadi, Principal Investigator of the Global Biotechnology Potato Partnership (GBPP) made this known in an interactive session with journalists held at the National Institute for policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Jos, Plateau State.

He said, “The partnership aims to conduct field trials and regulatory assessments to ensure the safety and efficacy of the genetically modified potato varieties.

“It works on capacity building and training for farmers, extension workers, and regulators to support the adoption and proper management of these biotechnological innovations.

“The GBPP aims to improve food security by increasing potato yields and reducing crop losses due to diseases and pests.

“It seeks to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by providing them with more robust and productive potato varieties”

He added that, “We are required by law to do regulatory, national performance and on-farm trials before they can be released. We have to submit dossiers from the regulatory trial to NBMA for consideration for environmental release.

“By eliminating late blight disease, your potato crop yield will be increased and stabilized enabling you to have more food and make more money.

“The late blight-resistant potato is safe and can reduce the cost of growing your potato crop by reducing the need for fungicides by 90%, this leads to less labor costs, stable yields, and better livelihood for your family.

“It reduces the harmful effects of fungicide use on the environment.

“The new variety which had so far gone one year trial is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Feed the Future Global Biotech Potato Partnership.”

 

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