Nigeria Releases 49 High-Yielding New Crop Varieties For Farmers
To boost Nigeria’s agricultural productivity, the National Varieties Release Committee (NVRC) has released 49 high-yielding crop varieties to farmers.
The development was disclosed on Wednesday by the NVRC chairman, Oladosu Awoyemi, at the 30th meeting of the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breed and Fishes in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to Awoyemi, 49 hybrid varieties of 11 crops submitted for consideration, registration and release by the Nigerian research institutes and private sector seed companies were approved for release.
“The released crop varieties include two rice hybrids namely Arize 6444 Gold and Arize TEJ Gold. Two high protein-rich oat varieties namely SAMOAT 1 and SAMOAT 2, three Durum wheat varieties namely LACRI-WHIT 12D and LACRI- WHIT 13D. Also released were three “proVitamin A” hybrid cassava, namely; UMUCASS 52, UMUCASS 53 and UMUCASS 54. “Nineteen maize varieties namely ILOMAZ 2; HAKIM 1, HAKIM 2; HAKIM 3; DK7500; SAMMAZ 64, 65, 66, 67; Drought TECO WE8206; WACQH6, WAC55E, WAC14M5, among others,” he said.
On the activities of NVRC, Mr Awoyemi said the decree that set up the committee made it mandatory “for anybody who wants to release new varieties of crop into the Nigerian farming community to send samples of that seed to a research institute that is relevant for it”. “The research institute will test such seeds across the ecological zones for which it is recommended. And, when they are satisfied that it is suitable for cultivation in Nigeria, then, they will bring it to the committee to officially consider it for release on registration. “
We have a national register of all important products that are produced in Nigeria that have been certified by the committee. And, if there is any new research officer who wants to go into any crop he has to go into the register to see what has been done in the past before he can now start on what to do in the future,” he added.
On his part, the Jigawa State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mohammed Alhassan, who sponsored the release of Durum Wheat said, “This is the first time hard wheat (durum wheat) would be registered and released to Nigerian farmers.”
He said Durum wheat is very high in yielding as it has very low fertiliser requirement, and produces big grains which are attractive, while the price is different in the markets and would give farmers high earnings. He said the vision of the state government was to make sure the economy of the country improves through agriculture for the benefit of Nigerians, especially the people of Jigawa.
Remarking, the Director-General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Olusegun Ojo, said the 49 crops that have been officially released by the committee would be passed on to the council. He explained that the council would make arrangements for wide multiplication of the crop for distribution to all farmers across the country.
“The expectations of the farmers will be higher yields, better resistance crops and at the end of the day, what farmers will be taken home as a result of the higher yields would be higher productivity and more income in their pockets. “The process of getting a crop released for broad distribution involves testing the seed at research institutes and on farmers’ fields across the country. “It is only when representatives of farmers have accepted that the crop is good for them and that such crop is better than the old varieties, then we bring it to the committee for consideration for official release,” he said.
Recall that in December 2020, Nigeria released 18 varieties of high-yielding crop varieties to farmers at the 29th meeting, bringing the total high-yielding variety of crops released to farmers to 67 within two years.
source Agro Nigeria