What's New :
Weekly Current Affairs: Week 4- July 2022 (40 Topics)

First Genetically modified cowpea in Ghana

Context

Genetically modified (GM) cowpea has cleared the first of the three regulatory hurdles in the way of commercialisation in Ghana. 

  • If it is commercialised, it will be the first GM crop grown in the country – a major milestone. 

What is Cowpea?

  • Cowpea, a black-eyed pea in some parts of the world – is a major source of protein in Ghana and the rest of the sub-continent.
  • It is a staple and is integral to Ghana’s food security.
  • Ghana is the fifth largest producer of cowpea in Africa.
  • Especially in the northern part of Ghana, where it is second to groundnut in terms of area cultivated.
  • Farmers of the area face many challenges, including an array of pests.
  • The GM cowpea has been genetically engineered to resist the ‘Maruca pod borer’- the major pest in the region.
  • The GM resistance will help decrease the amount of insecticide farmers have been using to control pests and increase yields.
  • Insecticides are known to be deleterious to human health, but their use is on the rise throughout Africa.

About Maruca pod borer

  • Marucavitrata is a pan-tropical insect pest of leguminous crops like pigeon pea, cowpea, mung bean and soybean.
  • Its common names include the maruca pod borer, bean pod borer, soybean pod borer, mung moth, and the legume pod borer.
  • The species was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1787.
  • It can cause losses of 20–80% on the harvests of cowpeas.
  • Its feeding sites on plants are flower buds, flowers and young pods.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

More Articles

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now