Experts Unveil New Hybrid Maize In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Experts Unveil New Hybrid Maize In Nigeria

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A team of experts in agricultural development at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan, has successfully released two new maize hybrids – Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08.

According to a statement made available from the institute, the team leader, Dr. Samuel Adelowo Olakojo, stated that the new hybrids have potential yields of 7.0/ha and 8.5t/ha respectively, noting that they have been attracting preferences from most farmers.

He said the preferences were mainly due to the qualities of the hybrids, which he said include early maturity, and has an advantage during erratic rainfall seasons, especially in the second planting season in South West Nigeria. He said the grain size and high starch content are also good for livestock feed mill.

He said for instance, the Ife Maizehyb-08the weighs better and has high energy to release from feed, explaining that there was a real gap between production and needs of maize in the southern part of Nigeria which is mainly due to demographic increase, drought, diseases, new requirements from end-users (poultry feed, livestock feed, breweries, processors etc.) and appearance of agri-business farmers who are requesting hybrids.

The humid forest ecologies of Nigeria, he said, are great potential zones for maize production which can help to reduce this gap with the availability of high yielding adapted hybrids such as the Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08.

Speaking on the development, Program Officer for Crop Improvement and Variety Adoption, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr. Toure Aboubacar,   said: “AGRA’s strategy to meet the needs of smallholder farmers across Africa is yielding great results. We are very happy that our support to national research institutions to develop, register and release improved varieties of staple crops such as maize is paying off as exemplified by the release of these two new maize varieties. Our work is aligned with the Nigerian government’s policy on maize value chain development.”

The statement noted that the Ife Maize hyb-07, which was formerly called SW5-OB x IART-INBRED1 is a top cross hybrid of ART/98/SW5-OB x IART Inbred 1 pedigree and has forest and derived savanna agro-ecologies adaptation with 98 days maturity period, and 7.0t/ha potential yield character. It said that the variety is also tolerant to maize streak virus, rust, leaf blight, and curvularia leaf spot with an outstanding dent floury grain character containing starch, ash, fat, and protein. Similarly, it said the Ife Maize-hyb 08, formerly called Ile 1 –OB x IAR-INBRED 1, has a potential yield of 8.50/ha and 110 days to maturity and has similar other characteristics as the Ife Maize hyb-07.

It noted that the release of these varieties has been made possible through AGRA’s grant to the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan, Nigeria, and the hard work of Dr. Samuel Adelowo Olakojo and his team, who managed a team of professional breeders. The grant, it said, seeks to increase the production and productivity of smallholder farmers in the humid forest ecologies of Nigeria by developing and promoting ten top cross hybrid maize adaptable to the region.

The statement said it took over five years of intensive research work to develop, register and release the varieties, noting that  having achieved this major milestone, AGRA, in collaboration with IAR&T, would now engage in demonstration and awareness creation activities to prepare for a major commercialization of these new varieties which are expected to transform the farming lives of millions of Maize farmers, not only in Nigeria, but across West Africa and beyond.