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Nigeria introduces transgenic cotton varieties

Nigeria recently introduced genetically-modified cotton varieties in the country to boost the textile industry. The country’s minister of science and technology Ogbonnaya Onu said the economy will be benefited with the initiative as more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be engaged in the cotton seedling production and its by-products.

Nigeria’s National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Materials had a few months back approved two new Bt cotton varieties for commercial release at its 26th meeting in Ibadan. The varieties are Nigeria’s first home-grown transgenic cotton developed by Mahyco Nigeria Pvt. Ltd and the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

The two varieties, MRC 7377BG11 and MRC7361BG11, are expected to generate a yield of 4.1-4.4 tonnes per hectare compared to the local variety’s 600-900 kg per hectare, according to Nigerian media reports.

For Nigeria to make the needed progress among the comity of nations, there should be a synergy among research institutes, the industry and universities, agriculture minister Audu Ogbeh said.

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