The Federal Government has picked a total of 820 Nigerian farmers selected from 36 states of the country to participate in a nationwide demonstration of the recently released SAMPEA 20-T variety of cowpea by planting it on their plots to create awareness.
The National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services, the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), and African Agricultural Technology Foundation, (AATF) picked them from 1,200 farmers trained through an elaborate programme.
Dr Issoufou Kollo of AATF, who revealed during the virtual meeting, said it was to allow farmers who have not tried SAMPEA 20-T to do so in their neighborhood and give opportunities to fellow farmers to learn from their plots.
Kollo also added, “Since its introduction in June 2021, we have received requests from farmers all over the country who want to plant the variety, and are unable to meet their demands. This will enable many of them to key into the planting in their domains.”
He explained that IAR and the other three seed companies had been contracted to market the new variety, saying they were working to produce enough foundation seed to ensure that next farming season, more farmers would have access to the seed for planting.
Also, Dr Mohammed Lawan, the SAMPEA 20-T Trial Manager at IAR, advised the farmers to adhere strictly to the approved agronomic practices to ensure that they fully benefit from the variety, saying, “Use 75cm X 20cm inter and intra row spacing at 20kg/hectare.”
Similarly, he urged them to note that the variety is early maturing, requiring only 75-80 days to mature, saying.
Source: The Guardian