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Current Position:Home » News » General News » Topic

Malawi holding GM trials for bananas and cowpeas

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-04-28  Views: 5
Core Tip: Bolstered by a solid and functional biosafety framework, Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa poised to move forward in commercializing genetically modified crops, with cowpeas and bananas that are now in field trials.
Bolstered by a solid and functional biosafety framework, Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa poised to move forward in commercializing genetically modified crops, with cowpeas and bananas that are now in field trials.

The virus-resistant (VR) banana trial is being conducted to respond to the devastating bunchy top virus that has almost wiped out all the banana plantations in Malawi, forcing the country to import bananas from Tanzania and Mozambique. The trials are being conducted with support from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The trials are still at the proof of concept stage

But cowpeas are also in their second year of trials at LUANAR. The trials are testing the efficacy of the Bt gene against the maruca vitrata, which is a notorious pest for the cowpeas grown by many small-holder farmers in the country. Farmers have been known to lose up to 90 percent of their yield due to this pest. After three years of CFTs, it is planned that the trials will be conducted in different locations where the Bt cowpea is primarily grown.
 
keywords: bananas
 
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