The Federal Government has released another set of 11 new crop varieties to Nigerian farmers. The government had earlier released 11 varieties in June 2014, developed by research institutes, universities, crop scientists and private seeds companies, and this brings to 22 the number of crop varieties released so far.
Chairman, National Technical Sub – Committee on Crops, Olusoji Olufajo, a professor, said 22 varieties were initially submitted for approval, saying the 11 approved varieties were, one rice variety (Faro 63), three sorghum hybrids (PRADHAN, MLSH 296 Gold and MLSH 151) and one potato variety (Marabel).
Others are two wheat varieties (LACRI WHIT – 5 and LACRI WHIT – 6), two maize hybrids (SAMMAZ 41 and SAMMAZ 42) and two soybean varieties (NCRISOY 1 and NCRISOY 2).
He explained further that the rice variety, Faro 63 developed by National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, was recommended for release based on its early maturity and high yield.
Concerning the sorghum varieties, Olufajo said “PRADHAN hybrid was recommended for release based on its white and bold grains and high grain yields, MLSH 296 Gold based on high grain yield and MLSH 151 based on its bold round grains with cream colour and high grain yield.”
He said the sorghums were developed by the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) Zaria, and Syngenta Nigeria Limited, and the potato variety developed by National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike and Syngenta, was recommended based on extra early maturity, high yield, high number of marketable tubers and high dry matter content.
“LACRI WHIT – 5 was recommended for release due to its high yield and good baking quality.
“The variety LACRI WHIT – 6 was recommended for release based on early maturity, high yield and baking quality,” Olufajo said on the wheat varieties.
The wheats were developed by the Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri.
On the maize, the chairman said the two varieties, SAMMAZ 41 and SAMMAZ 42 were recommended for release based on early maturity, high grain yield, long ear and low soil nitrogen tolerance, as they were developed by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan and IAR.
He said the two varieties of soybean were recommended for release due to extra early maturity, high yield, promiscuous nodulation, resistance to rust, cercospora leaf spot and suitability for mechanisation.
The soya beans were developed by IITA and NCRI.