TO further mitigate food insecurity, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, has unveiled two new varieties of maize tolerant to Fall Army Worm (FAW).
The two maize varieties, according to the institute, were parts of the new discoveries done by the institute in a bid to reduce the problem of food insecurity and scarcity in the country.
The two maize varieties, christened ARTMAZ 01 and ARTMAZ 2, were unveiled to journalists at a press conference held on Tuesday at the premises of the institute.
Executive Director of the institute, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, while addressing journalists, noted that the new varieties would help in solving the problem of food insecurity across the country.
Obatolu, while speaking on the significant of the new maize varieties, explained that food production will increase when farmers have access to the new varieties.
Obatolu, who spoke further, added that one of the major functions of the institute is to solve the challenges facing the agricultural sector.
She urged members of the public to take advantages of the new technologies breakthrough.
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. It will assist in solving 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 increase in food production”.
“The institute’s activities are demand driven targeted at solving specific production/utilisation constraints and challenges for agricultural sustainable growth and economic development.
The two new maize varieties are imbued with the following outstanding qualities”.
ARTMAZ 01 is a medium, white, FAW tolerant open pollinated 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.
On the other hand, ARTMAZ 02 is 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.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me to congratulate all stakeholders on this landmark achievement and to enjoin members of the public to take advantage of these new technologies breakthrough to boost maize production”.