By David Adeoye
Ibadan, Jan. 18, 2022 The Registrar, National Varieties Release Committee (NVRC), Dr Sunday Aladele, says the recent release of 47 new high yield crop varieties to farmers will boost food production in Nigeria.
Alalade stated this on Tuesday, in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, released 47 new high yield crop varieties to farmers through the NVRC.
The release was announced at the 30th Meeting of National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breed/Fishes, held at the Secretariat of the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) in Ibadan.
According to the Registrar, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of NACGRAB, every farmer now has a choice to make, following the new varieties of crops that have just been released.
“Nigeria has diverse agro-ecology and what is good for farmers in a particular area may not be okay for farmers at another zone.
“And now that we have many of the new crops coming on board, farmers can smile because the new crop varieties will enhance increase in farm products, and this will farming more profitable.
“New varieties are cost-effective means of improving productivity, quality and marketability for farmers,” he said.
Aladele further maintained that Federal Government is committed to promoting agriculture aimed at improving the sector.
He observed that all the achievements being recorded in the discovery of new crops varieties are encouraging.
Speaking on the performances of seeds that were earlier released, the Registrar said “whatever crops we released and registered here must have been tested in many parts of the country.
“So farmers in every part of the country has one variety or the other to pick from the released varieties.
“We have different seed companies that were represented in our meetings and many of them confirmed that majority of the crops that had been registered are doing well,” he added.
The Registrar disclosed that most times, the country had not been able to meet up for the quantities of seeds needed, but as time goes on, we will be able to meet up because we are seriously making progress.
“In the past, we made about 40 per cent of what the country needed but now we are making about 70 per cent.
“Also, we will soon have leftover seeds that will be stored in silos for the coming year,” he said.
He urged farmers to purchase quality seed varieties instead of going for cheaper and less quality seeds.
Among the crop varieties recently released are 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.
There are also three pro-Vitamin A hybrids cassava, namely UMUCASS 52, UMUCASS 53, and UMUCASS 54 and 19 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.
By David Adeoye