AFRICA NEWS: Nigeria: Govt Approves New Maize Variety, TELA Maize for Cultivation in Nigeria

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

AFRICA NEWS:

The Federal Government granted approval for the evaluation and open cultivation by Tela Maize, a new maize variety developed by researchers from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. It resists stem borers, fall armyworms, and can withstand moderate drought.

Dr Rufus Ebegba was the Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), and made this statement while presenting the TELA maize approval certificate to Prof. Ishiyaku Mohammed, Executive Director, IAR.

Dr Ebegba stated that the approval was given after considering the advice of the National Biosafety Committee and the National Biosafety Technical Sub-Committee, as well as the risk management report submitted by the applicant.

According to him, “The Agency was confident that there were no known adverse effects to the conservation or sustainable use of biodiversity, taking into consideration risk to human health. This decision does not affect any other legal requirements.

“This permit allows the permit holder and the persons covered by it to commercialise the TELA maize genetically modified for drought tolerance, insect resistance and other uses,” he stated.

Earlier, at the public presentation, the Director-General of the NBMA warned that the agency would not hesitate to withhold the permit and to prosecute if necessary.

In his remarks, the Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ishayaku Mohammed said the new Tella maize variety, resistant of pest, would save the country about N268 billion spent annually on importation of insecticides to spray the farm produce against a pest that destroys and responsible for the low productivity or yield.

Ishayaku stated that the new variety can also bridge the gap in the nation’s maize consumption deficit, which currently stands at 4,000,000 tonnes.

He said the variety has the potential to shoot up the productivity to 3 tons and 30 bags per hectare as against what is obtainable of 1 ton and 16 bags per hectare respectively.

The University Don stated, “It’s really inspiring for IAR that NBMA approves the commercial release (TELA MAIZE) of the drought-tolerant maize (TELA MAIZE)”.

” This further highlights IAR’s ability and commitment to finding effective solutions for agricultural problems facing our farmers, and maximising food security in Nigeria. This approval will allow us to implement this new maize variety into our agricultural system, which will help combat the devastating effects of drought and pests.

” The next step will be to evaluate the performance of the new variety by farmers in their fields across all major maize-growing belts in Nigeria. Thereafter we shall seek another approval by the National variety release committee before making the seeds commercially available for farmers to plant in the 2023 cropping season,” he said.

Dr. Canisius Kannangire, Executive Director of AATF, stated that the approval shows that Nigeria is the true leader in Africa and that it has the potential to transform the lives of smallholder farmers.

” The approval of the Nigerian government is a sign of our progress, especially in our quest for more smallholder farmers to make a profit from their labor by using low-cost technologies that increase productivity and decrease insect pest infestations.

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“TELA Maize is coming at a time when farmers are spending so much to reduce insect and pest attacks as well as battling with the issue of drought. TELA maize will provide relief for farmers in Nigeria from the need to spray chemically every day, which can have adverse effects on their health. Dr. Kanangire said that the chemical savings can be used to meet other family needs.”

Meanwhile, the TELA Maize Project in Nigeria is part of an international Consortium coordinated by AATF, involving Bayer, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the National Agricultural Research Systems of seven countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda since 2018. This Project is based on a decade’s worth of breeding work and aims to produce drought-tolerant, climate-smart varieties of Drought TEGO maize.

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The post AFRICA NEWS: Nigeria: Govt Approves New Maize Variety, TELA Maize for Cultivation in Nigeria appeared first on dWeb.News dWeb.News from Daniel Webster Publisher dWeb.News – dWeb Local Tech News and Business News

The post AFRICA NEWS: Nigeria: Govt Approves New Maize Variety, TELA Maize for Cultivation in Nigeria appeared first on dWeb.News dWeb.News from Daniel Webster Publisher dWeb.News – dWeb Local Tech News and Business News

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