Institute to develop climate adaptable maize varieties

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, on Friday expressed optimism that its maize varieties, currently in the making, would be adaptable to the vagaries of climate change.

Dr Oluwakemi Odeyemi, the Acting Head, Maize Improvement Programme for Southern Ecology, IAR&T, said this in an interview in Ibadan.

Odeyemi, an entomologist, said the institute was also trying to develop armyworm-resistant maize varieties to ease the plight of farmers whose farms were invaded by the armyworm pest.

She said that maize was an important economic crop which formed a major component of the people’s daily diet.

Odeyemi also said that maize was a good source of raw materials for agro-based industries, stressing that maintenance of maize fields would boost the country’s food security.

According to her, IAR&T has released newly developed maize varieties that will be of great economic benefit to the country.

“The maize varieties include Ife Maize hyb-1, which has good seed yield, adaptation to forest ecology and multipurpose utilisation potential.

“Ife Maize hyb-2 is tolerant to major maize diseases and it has good seed quality; it also has high yield and stand ability; Ife Maize hyb-3 is resistant to downy mildew and streak.

“There are Ife Maize hyb 1 to 6 that have been developed. Besides, there are others which include BR 9943 DMR-stem borer resistant variety that can be utilised in all forms of recipes.

“We also have the BR9928 DMR – the yellow version of the stem borer resistant variety; we also developed ILE 1-OB (Mayowa) –– baby weaning food, breakfast menu and livestock feed,” she said.

Odeyemi said that maize varieties were available at IAR&T and advised farmers to always contact the institute whenever they wanted to acquire the varieties.

She urged farmers to always get their seeds from certified institutes such as IAR&T so as to obtain maximum yields during harvest and avoid planting low-quality seeds.