• Friday, July 19, 2024
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FG develops four maize variants to boost yields, food sufficiency

FG develops four maize variants to boost yields, food sufficiency

As part of efforts to boost maize production with a view to ensuring food sufficiency for both livestock and human consumption, the Federal Government has invented four new maize variants meant to improve farmers’ yields across Africa.

The four developed maize variants tagged “TELA Maize Varieties”, which included SAMMAZ 72T, SAMMAZ 73T, SAMMAZ 74T and SAMMAZ 75T, were launched in Abuja by the Federal Government in collaboration with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AAFT).

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BusinessDay reports that TELA maize derived its name from the word TUTELA which means protection. It’s a brain child of a public private partnership initiated for commercialization, having transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected qualities to enhance food security in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Speaking on the four maize varieties, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, said that TELA maize varieties would tackle the problem of draught, diseases and enhance farmers productivity.

He added that the maize varieties developed by Nigerian researchers from the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, are safe as food for human consumption and as feeds for livestock, adding that Government had put measures on ground to ensure safety of the application of the product.

“We have the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Federal Ministry of Health, National Agricultural Seed Council and other agencies to supervise the adoption and application of the food crop”, he said.

He however assured of the Ministry’s support to the development more techniques for the improvement of agriculture and agribusiness, saying, “the innovations in the agricultural sector of the Country are in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Earlier, Ado Adamu Yusuf, Executive Director of the Institute institute for Agricultural Research, (IAR) said the journey to realizing the dream started over five years ago when Nigeria joined the TELA Maize Project Public-Private Partnership(PPP) in 2019, to address the major challenges such as drought, insect pests, fall army worm, stemborers, among others, that are confronting farmers across African continent.

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“The SAMMAZ-T series of maize hybrids were therefore developed to address these challenges headlong. They offer 3 in 1 protection to maize which includes drought tolerance, resistance to fall army worm and resistance to stemborers insect pests.

“This triple protection assures the farmer of yield advantage and reduces the use of chemical Pesticides, saving farmers money and reducing the environmental and health hazards associated with the use of these pesticides”, he noted.

Also speaking, Aggrey Ambali, Chairman, Board of Trustees, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said the occasion marked a milestone not only for Nigerian agricultural growth, but also for the entire African Continent.