About a month ago , Nigeria took a bold step into the controversial terrain of Genetically Modified Foods   by giving approval for the commercialization of a new Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea

With this, Nigeria hopes to score tremendous success capable of being emulated soon by Ghana, Malawi and Burkina Faso. Antagonists of the move are however not relenting. Please read the Press Release by the experts on the new crop

Press Release

Nigeria Commercializes First Transgenic Food Crop

[Abuja] December 15, 2019: The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved registration and release of a new Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea variety for commercialization.

The approval was granted by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, chaired by Mr. OladosuAwoyemi, at its 28th meeting which held in Ibadan on December 12, 2019.

The new cowpea variety, SAMPEA 20-T, was developed by scientists at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in collaboration with several partners under coordination of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

PBR Cowpea event AAT709A was earlier in the year granted environmental release approval by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), which confirmed the product was safe for human, livestock, and the environment. This approval paved the way for submission to the National Variety Release Committee for consideration and registration of the first variety containing the PBR Cowpea trait as a commercial crop in Nigeria.

The newly registered SAMPEA 20-T is highly resistant to Marucavitrata, an insect pest that causes up to 90 percent yield loss in severe infestation cases. 2


This new variety is early maturing (70 – 75 days) with semi-erect growth habit, insensitive to day-length, and has medium large white seeds. It is also resistant to Striga and Alectra, two notorious parasitic weeds.

The decision to release the variety means that farmers will have access to the seed that will help them significantly reduce the number of sprays they currently apply to their crop from 6 to 7 times to only 2 per cropping season and as a result realise better yield in quantity and quality. It will also contribute to addressing the national cowpea demand deficit of about 500,000 tonnes and also improve the national productivity average of 350kg/hectare.

During the Multilocational Advanced Yield Trials conducted across Nigeria’s agro-ecologies, researchers found SAMPEA 20-T to have high stable grain yield across the test locations. The minimum observed average grain yield increase over the conventional cowpea varieties was at least 20 percent, and this could be higher depending on severity of the Maruca infestation.

Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku, the Principal Investigator for the project and Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria said both the on-station and on-farm trials demonstrated the superiority of SAMPEA 20-T relative to local, recently released cowpea varieties and improved breeding lines tested. ‘SAMPEA 20-T is high yielding, early maturing and resistant to Striga and Alectra, which are major constraint to cowpea production in most producing areas in Nigeria and other dry savanna regions,’ said Prof Ishiyaku.

‘The protein and nutrients content of variety SAMPEA 20-T is the same as that of other conventional varieties meaning that the Bt gene that was introduced into the variety has no negative influence on the nutritional composition of both grain and folder,’ added Prof.Ishiyaku, saying that the newly released variety does not differ in any way from already existing cowpeas (beans) other than the improvements made.

Dr Denis Kyetere, Executive Director AATF, thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for releasing the new cowpea variety saying it showed its commitment towards improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmer. ‘Cowpea farmers have had to endure difficult farming conditions that required them to spray their crop 6- 8 times just to make a profit which could be a risk to their lives,” Said Dr Kyetere. 3


“We at AATF express our joy with Nigeria as it takes the lead in the deployment of necessary technologies that show promise of solving the challenges which farmers encounter on a daily basis,’ added Dr.Kyetere

Dr IssoufouKolloAbdourhamane, the AATF PBR Cowpea Manager attributed the successful registration and naming of SAMPEA 20-T to the hard work and synergy between the various project partners including researchers at the IAR “Our joint effort of over 10 years addressing one of the vital challenges faced by cowpea farmers in Africa has paid off. Cowpea farming will now become attractive even to the younger generation as it has become less cumbersome with the effective management of Maruca,’ he said.

Prof.GarbaSharubuta, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), the apex organization supervising all agriculture research in the country welcomed the release of the new variety saying that cowpea is a major staple and vegetarian source of dietary protein in Africa. “Its production has been stalled by severe attack of insect pests in both the field and storage. One of such notorious pests is the legume pod-borer, (Marucavitrata). This pest has singularly contributed to significant cowpea yield reductions on our farmers’ farms.’

Prof.Sharubuta said that ARCN’s resolve is to make improved technologies available and accessible to farmers to enhance their yields and income and result in improved livelihoods. ‘One such economically viable, and environmentally sound solution to the problem of the legume pod borer is development of cowpea varieties that have inherent resistance to the lepidopteran pod borers,” Prof.Sharubuta added.

The Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said the release marked a great and memorable day for Nigeria, Africa and the World at large. ‘We all are marching towards food sufficiency and food security for Nigeria and all of mankind. Bt Cowpea is certainly a major and strategic addition.”

SAMPEA 20-T is a product of over a decade of research efforts by a partnership that brought together Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, for genetic transformation, IAR, NABDA, ARCN, Danforth Plant Science Center, which provided regulatory support, and Bayer CropScience, which provided the Cry1Ab gene to the partnership on humanitarian basis, royalty free, so that small scale farmers can access it affordably. The project partnership was coordinated by AATF with sustained funding by USAID.

The Project also received support from other stakeholders in Nigeria including the National Association of Cowpea Growers, the National Association of Nigerian Farmers and local seed companies.


For further information Please Contact:

Professor Mohammad F. Ishiyaku,

Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria

E-mail :, Phone : +2348051316887

Dr IssoufouKolloAbdourhamane

Cowpea Manager,




Source=Personal Communication  Dr Saba Mohammed  (ABU)




When in 2015, the European Union placed a 1-year ban on Nigerian exported dried beans regarding the presence of pesticide at a level above the acceptable, little did anyone know the issue may not be easily resolved afterall. Even with the 3 year ban extension put in place in 2016, and the series of activities geared towards meeting the 2019 tyarget , it seems the ban is in place afterall.
A stakeholders meeting was held in May 2019 to review the ban and to conside possible lifting of same. Till date it seems a few unresolved issues are still outstanding

With the support of organizations like the UNIDO and a few international bodies,in packaging approving and implementing the ZERO-REJECT initiative, it becomes worrisome what are the EU still looking for. It is clear that the EU was not totally satisfied by the level of remedial measures Nigeria had and has been putting in place

One hopes that the ban issue is quickly resolved so as not to spill over to the year 2020, even when undeclared

Oct 2019


Pesticides are a group of chemicals that are applied to crops in farm or store for protection and enhanced productivity and marketability. However, safety aspects are not taken into consideration.

In this report published last year, Adewunmi and Fapohunda  looked into the issue and made a critical observations.


Please see


The First ever World Food Safety Day was observed throughout the globe yesterday June 7, 2019. According to the UN the theme is  “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. WHO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to facilitate Member States effort to celebrate the World Food Safety Day this year and in coming years.

Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism and trade. With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne diseases annually – almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated – food safety is an increasing threat to human health. Children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden with 125 000 deaths every year.
Food safety is key to achieving several UN Sustainable Development Goals and is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health. Through the World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.

In Nigeria and sub saharan Africa, leaders are expected to focus more on this issue of human concern




In May, 2019, the European Union began a series of talks to examine and assess the various measures put in place by Nigeria to escape further ban on the dried beans export to the EU. It will be recalled that Nigeria carried out some remedial inteventions aimed at enhancing the quality of agro produce for local consumption and export

The Zero reject initiative, supported by UNIDO and other partners is a combination of preventive and control strategies in this regards. The current ban is as a result of he detection of the pesticide, dichlorvos, at a level considered too hig for human consumptionAs the nation awaits the outcome of the meeting, which include officials of the FMARD and NAQS, Nigerians should expect a happy news that will return the exporters once more to business of fair international trade



Dele Fapohunda

June, 2019


The Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria will host its annual conference at Covenant University , Otta, Ogun state . The date will be fixed later.The event normally welcomes farmers, academics and enthusiasts in the foood safety field, exporters , feedmillers, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders
Current President is Dr Folasade Oluwabamiwo, a Director at NAFDAC

Please stay on this site for further development

Dele Fapp
March 21m 2019

SFFF attends Japanese workshop

The Japanese embassy in Nigeria invited notable NGOs to a workshop in Abuja on Tuesday 19 March 2019. The workshop was to acquaint the participants with the necessary steps to be taken to access GRANTS from the Japanese government in the area of GRASSROOT development.
The SAFE FOOD AND FEED FOUNDATION was invited and was there


New Zealand Development Scholarships 2019/2020 for African and Developing Countries’ Students
Application Deadline: 14th March 2019 12.00 pm NZ Time.

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible African countries: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Za…
This content was originally published on After School Africa from

New Zealand Aid Programme Scholarships offers the opportunity to people from targeted African countries to undertake development-related studies at tertiary education institutions in New Z…

Who is eligible to apply? Applicants must meet the following conditions to be eligible for a New Zealand Scholarship (An update on this situation will be given on Monday 4 February 2019):

Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of commencing your scholarship.
Be a citizen of the country from which you are applying for a scholarship….
Number of Scholarship: Several

What are the benefits? New Zealand has first-rate education institutions that offer world-recognised qualifications. Successful applicants will have access to excellent academic knowledge in quality facilities. The scholarships include financial support for tuition, living costs while in New Zealand, and airfares. …
How to Apply: If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, we encourage you to go through and complete the required Steps way before application deadline in March 2019.
This content was originally published on After School Africa from


NEW ZEALAND Scholarship
Development Scholarship and Commonwealth Scholarship
Programme outline
The New Zealand Aid Programme offers scholarships to potential applicants from eligible
African countries (including South Africa) who are motivated to make a difference at home.
• Scholarships available
• Eligibility
• Priority Sectors
• Selection Preferences
• Contact us
Scholarships available
The following scholarship types are available. Follow the links below for more information
about the particular scholarship type.
1. New Zealand Development Scholarship
Eligible countries: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia,
Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia,
Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia,
Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
2. New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship
Eligible Countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Degree level : Master’s and PhD
Deadlines: Applications open in early 2018 for studies beginning in early 2019.
Read application dates for more information. It is recommended that potential applicants start
preparing early due to the long application process.
Who can apply?
Candidates must meet all eligibility criteria. Note: there are differing criteria for different
Read the full eligibility criteria
Fields of Study
“We want scholars who are interested in studying subjects that can improve the social and
economic development of your country. We’ve chosen priority sectors that can help your
country and that New Zealand has expertise in.”
Priority Sectors
If you can show that your study is connected to any of these sectors, you are more likely to be
Agriculture development
• Agri-business management: agricultural economics, agricultural systems and management,
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Application process
Selection Preferences The New Zealand Aid Programme is guided by both the Priority
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The New Zealand Aid Programme receives many enquiries that can be answered by reading
the extensive information on their website. For example, see Eligibility, How to Apply or
frequently asked questions. For questions which are not answered by the information on this
website, submit an online enquiry here (external link). Regional Contact: New Zealand High
Commission Attention: Scholarships, 125


2019 Food & Hospitality Africa Exhibition in Johannesburg, South ……africa/334
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