Higher Yeilding Maize Varieties For West Africa Soon – IITA

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A group photograph of participants at the just concluded review meeting on Highbrids maize in West Africa.

By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria

A maize breeder and researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan,  Dr. Badu Apraku has said very emphatically that West Africa is set to witness more increases in maize OPVs (open-pollinated varieties) and hybrids, towards boosting agricultural productivity the sub-region. 

He stated this at the opening ceremony of the West African Regional Planning and Review meeting of the Stress-Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) .

The meeting is a forum for reviewing the project activities of 2017 and planning for those of 2018.

The participants were drawn from four West African countries; Nigeria, Benin, Mali and Ghana. 

The International Director of the STMA Project, Dr. Cosmos Magorokosho was also present at the meeting.

The various countries reported increased activities in their varietal development and dissemination across the region. 

Nigeria released about two stress-tolerant varieties in 2017. The Nigerian partners include: Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria; National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Zaria; University of Ilorin; Institute for Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan; Premier Seeds, Maslaha Seeds, Tecni Seeds, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), and National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC).

The Nigeria country coordinator of the project is Dr. Muhydeen Oyekunle, a maize breeder and scientist at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

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