In a bid to create awareness about the recently released SAMPEA 20-T variety, 820 Nigerian farmers have been selected across the 36 states of the country to participate in a nationwide demonstration.
The planned demonstration, which is organised by the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS), the Institute for Agricultural Research and AATF draws from the pool of over 1,200 farmers trained through an elaborate programme supervised by NAERLS.
The demonstration, according to Dr. Issoufou Kollo, AATF Regional Representative for West Africa, is to allow farmers who have not tried out SAMPEA 20-T to do so in their neighbourhood by either participating in the trials or witnessing the variety being planted by their fellow farmers.
“Since the unveiling ceremony in June 2021, we’re flooded with requests from farmers all over the country who want to plant the variety. Because we are unable to meet this huge demand, we have decided to conduct another round of nationwide demonstrations to give farmers in all localities the opportunity to see how the variety performs,” said Dr. Kollo.
Kollo, who also doubles as the AATF Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea Project Manager, said that IAR and the three seed companies contracted to market the SAMPEA 20-T are working round the clock to produce enough foundation seed to ensure that next farming season, more farmers can have access to the seed for planting.
The SAMPEA 20-T Trial Manager at IAR, Dr. Mohammed Lawan, advised the farmers to adhere strictly to the approved agronomic practices to ensure that they fully benefit from the variety. “Use 75cm X 20cm inter and intra row spacing at 20kg/ha,” Dr. Lawan advised, urging them to note that the variety is early maturing requiring only 75 – 80 days to mature.
NAERLS has fully mobilised its extension agents that will coordinate the farmers during the demonstration.