Side Event: FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2022

Innovation as a Catalyst for Seed System Change: Insect Resistant Cowpea for West Africa


SAMPEA 20-T, a new genetically modified cowpea variety with resistance to Maruca pod borer, has been developed to specifically meet the needs of smallholder farmers. Commercially launched on a very small scale in July 2021 in Nigeria, ~7.5 mt of certified seed sold out within a week – a clear indication of overwhelming demand. Increasing the availability of SAMPEA 20-T seed demonstrates the need for, and opportunities associated with, improving quality seed production. Using next generation cowpea as a case study, this event explores how public and private sector partners are driving approaches to ensure smallholder access to new crop innovations.