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    GBPP Calls for Adoption of Genetically Modified Potatoes

    The Global Biotechnology Potato Partnership (GBPP) has called for the adoption of genetically modified crops, especially biotech potatoes, because the genes are naturally occurring genes as they were copied from wild relatives of potatoes.

    The Global Biotechnology Potato Partnership (GBPP) has called for the adoption of genetically modified crops, especially biotech potatoes, because the genes are naturally occurring genes as they were copied from wild relatives of potatoes.

    The director of research for GBPP, Dr. Charles Amadi, who is also the Director of Tuber Crops Research at the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Abia State, made this call while speaking at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos Plateau State, on the benefits of the expected GBPP project, which is ongoing in the state.

    Amadi disclosed that the partnership has done its efficacy trial, but currently on the field trials and regulatory assessments, which require doing the mandatory two seasons, adding that after the second regulatory trial, they would submit the dossier for environmental release to the national Bio-Safety Management Agency.

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    He went further to explain that if it is approved, they will do the national performance trials, the multi-locational outside confined fields, and also the all-farm trials to ensure the safety and efficacy of the GM potato varieties.

    According to him, a low yield of potatoes in Nigeria is caused by late blight disease, lamenting that most farmers spray costly fungicides every few days to protect potato crops and that fungicides used to control the late blight disease of potatoes are not always available and may harm the environment if not properly used.

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    “The GBPP is a USAID Feed the Future-funded initiative focused on the development and deployment of genetically modified (GM) potato varieties to address agricultural challenges and improve food security, particularly in developing countries.

    “The project is to develop potato varieties that are resistant to major diseases, pests, and environmental stresses; enhance the nutritional quality and yield of potato crops; and ensure these improved potato varieties are accessible to smallholder farmers in developing regions.

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