Research Institute Starts Research into Flood Resistant Maize

Research Institute Starts Research into Flood Resistant Maize

 

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has started research into the development of flood resistant maize varieties that can withstand flood and remain in waters for up to 14 days.

The Director of the institute, Prof. Muhammad Ishiyaku, disclosed this on Sunday in Zaria, Kaduna State, that the institute had started the first phase of the experiment that when the institute must have identified the flood endurance of those selected lines, then it would use them in its breeding programmes.

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He said; “That will take a while before we can be able to say here are the potential variants of maize seeds which are resistant to flood,’’

Ishiyaku said that one of the fundamental focus areas of genetic improvement programmes of the institute is to develop crop that could withstand drought and flood as climate change is an undeniable natural phenomenon.

He said that the development of the flood resistant maize variety would help to ameliorate the effect of flood on farmers’ investment that toward the end of 2020, the institute released six improved varieties of maize as well as multiplied and released new improved varieties of cowpea for some seed companies to start marketing.

He said that the release of these improved varieties were geared toward strengthening food security in the country in face of the global public health and security challenges in some parts of Nigeria.

The Director further said that the improved seeds were high yielding; the maize provided eight tons per hectare whereas the previous seeds were providing between five and six tons per hectare that the varieties were drought and insects’ resistant.

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Ishiyaku said that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture was engaging the institute to produce enough cotton seed so that farmers would get adequate seeds for wider hectares.

He lamented the dwindling of the farmers producing cotton in the country over the previous years that this was due to lower demand for the commodity by the textile industries and unattractive international prices being offered them.

The Director noted that there has been a reawakening in the demand for cotton in the textile industry adding that with right incentives, farmers would wake up and respond to the demand.

Ishiyaku said that IAR had developed 13 different varieties of cotton seeds that could grow in different regions of the country.

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