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Expert lauds adoption of disease-resistant maize by local farmers



An agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has lauded the adoption of disease-resistant maize by local farmers to boost productivity.

Olawale, a fellow at the National Agriculture and Extension Research Liaison Service (NAERLS), said this in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday in Lagos.

It was also reported that the Federal Government, in partnership with Export Trade Group and Nigeria Agro Inputs Dealers Association recently, unveiled disease-resistant hybrid maize seeds to boost crop production.

Olawale, said the disease-resistant maize variant has been in existence for a while but proper adoption will yield increase growth of the sector.

“The recently launched disease-resistant maize hybrid is not a new innovation in the agriculture circle.

“The disease-resistant maize is a improved variety of maize which has been in existence and circulation for more than 7 years now.

“NEARLS in collaboration with the Institute of Agriculture (IOA) and other agric. research institutes have been promoting some of the varieties of these improved seeds.

“They have developed and promotes the adoption of the Stress-tolerant and drought-tolerant maize also for better productivity.

“The disease-resistant maize is a variety in these classes of maize. This maize category is an improvement on what IITA developed about some 4 or 5 years ago,” Olawale said.

In addition the expert said, aside increasing productivity of the produce, the maize variant will help prevent disease infestation of crops.

“This maize variety help present disease such as aflatoxin which makes the crop has some carcinogenic contents.

“The disease-resistant maize is great innovation that will help farmers boost production and cut losses.

“However with the adoption of this maize variety by local farmers, we must also put into consideration the off takers of the produce.

“The whole value chain should be sensitised on the adoption of the disease-resistant maize, so they could be sold off easily.

“If the volume of productivity is high and there is no market for it, then the essence of the innovation will be futile,” the expert said.

He also called for appropriate training of the farmers for adherence to the right procedures in cultivating the disease-resistant maize to get the desired results.

“The development of these seeds is done in confined laboratory with improved technology and the ability of farmers to apply some of these stringent and complex procedures.

“There are lots of things the farmers need to do to get the desired results of the disease-resistant maize,” he said.

the sun newspaper

Mercy Omoike

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