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IAR&T unveils new maize varieties to boost maize output, tackle hunger and poverty (Photos)
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 17 Aug 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T, in Moore plantation, Ibadan has again introduced two groundbreaking maize varieties to get a much-needed boost for Maize output in Nigeria and West Africa, CEOAFRICA reports.These varieties, named ARTMAZ 01 and ARTMAZ 02 were unveiled during a press conference held at the Agricultural Value Addition Building of IAR&T on 15th of August 2023.

Prof. Veronica Obatolu, the Executive Director of the Institute, emphasized the significance of these new maize varieties in addressing the issue of boosting maize output, food insecurity, and Poverty in Nigeria .

The erudite professor said ARTMAZ 01  is a medium white FAW tolerant oen polinated maize variety adapted to Rainforest, Guinea Savannah and Sudan Savannah agro-ecologies.It has potential grain yield of 7.3 tons per hectare under best agronomic practices. It can withstand other pests and diseases, such as stem borers, maize streak virus, rust, leaf blight and curvularia leaf spot and ARTMAZ 02, adapted to Rainforest, Guinea Savannah and Sudan Savannah agro-ecologies is also a medium yellow version of the FAW tolerant open pollinated maize variety with potential grain yield of 9.0 tons per hectare under best agronomic practices. Equally, it can tolerate other pests and diseases, such as stem borers, maize streak virus, rust, leaf blight and curvularia leaf spot that are common to Nigeria agro-environments.

The IAR&T Boss further explained that with access to these varieties, farmers will be able to increase food production, ultimately contributing to solving the challenges faced by the agricultural sector.

Prof. Obatolu called on government at all levels and members of the public to make the most of this breakthrough in maize varieties and utilize them for their benefit.

She said, “I am highly delighted to welcome you to a briefing on the recently released varieties of maize in the institute.

“It will help to tackle the problem of food insecurity. With this, the problem of food insecurity will be solved. Because, when farmers have access to the varieties, there will be an increase in food production.

“The institute’s activities are demand-driven and targeted at solving specific production/utilisation constraints and challenges for sustainable growth and economic development.”

In an interview with CEOAFRICA, Obatoulu also reassured that the aim of the newly released maize varieties which was discovered during research will assist in solving the problem of food insecurity.

On what to do to stop the conversion of land into an estate which can lead to scarcity of lands for farmers, she noted that :’’with the new technology available now,  the institute is planning to have sustainable Agro-Business in a way that it will be very interesting to famers, so that they will be able to  have  better income from it.’

Also, she noted that the newly released varieties will be available beginning from  next planting season as it cannot be produced before it is approved, evaluated and released. According to her, the institute will work with ADPs in Oyo and other states to help get the seeds to famers as soon as it is approved.

The Professor  of  food nutrition futher added  while speaking on the maize maturity, disclosed that ARTMAZ 01 will take between 105-110 days (three and half months) to mature while ARTMAZ 02 will take 100-105 days.

Present at the occasion are: Dr Mrs Florence Kakulu. Oyo State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,

Prof Lateef Taiwo , Head of RAIPRO , Professors in the Institute. Dr Johnson Adetunbi., Deputy Director IAR&T, Mr Boye Popoola Deputy Registrar and Secretary to the Institute, Mr Michael Fadipe, Deputy Bursar, Dr Amusat Adeniyi. S,  Head of Public Relations Unit , Maize farmers from South West Nigeria and Heads of programmes/ Units were also in attendance