LAGOS – The Federal Government yesterday approved the release another batch of 11 crop varieties for Nigerian farmers bringing to 22 the number released in 2014.
This is contained in a press statement made available to newsmen in Lagos by the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan.
The statement, which was signed by its registrar, Dr Sunday Aladele, stated that the new varieties were released at the centre in addition to the earlier 11 varieties released in June.
The varieties were developed by research institutes, universities, crop scientists and private seeds companies.
The statement stated that the latest varieties were formally released at the 21st meeting of National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds/Fisheries by committee Chairman, Chief Oladosu Awoyemi.
During the meeting at NACGRAB, which is the committee’s secretariat, the Chairman, National Technical Sub-Committee on Crops, Prof. Olusoji Olufajo, revealed that 22 varieties were initially submitted for approval.
The statement quoted Olufajo as saying that, “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).
“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),’’ Olufajo said.
The statement stated that the rice variety, Faro 63, developed by National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger, was recommended for release based on its early maturity and high yield.
On the sorghum varieties, it stated that “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,’’ the statement stated.
It also announced that the sorghum varieties were developed by the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) Zaria and Syngenta Nigeria Limited.
The potato variety (Marabel) developed by National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike and Syngenta Nigeria Limited, was recommended based on extra early maturity, high yield, high number of marketable tubers and high dry matter content.
Meanwhile the two wheat varieties, “LACRI WHIT – 5 is recommended for release due to its high yield and good baking quality.
“And variety LACRI WHIT – 6 was recommended for release based on early maturity, high yield and baking quality,’’ the statement stated.
It stated that the wheat varieties were developed by the Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri.
On the maize, the statement stated that the two varieties, SAMMAZ 41 and SAMMAZ 42 were recommended for released based on early maturity, high grain yield, long ear and low soil nitrogen tolerance.
It stated that they were developed by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan and IAR.
The statement stated that the two varieties of soybean were recommended for released because of their extra early maturity, high yield, and promiscuous nodulation, resistance to rust, cercospora leaf spot and suitability for mechanisation.
It stated that the soybeans were developed by IITA and NCRI.
Aladele, in the statement, appreciated the efforts of West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), AfricaRice, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
Participants at the meeting included ARCN representatives, Prof. Mohammed Magaji; representative of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Abdu Bulama; Dr Nnenna Okoronkwo and Prof. Akin Hassan, President, Genetics Society of Nigeria.