By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Project Manager, TELA Maize Project, Dr. Sylvester Oikeh has called on the Nigerian government to expedite action in order to get the TELA Maize into the hands of its farmers.
He made the call during a paper presentation at a Capacity Building Training for Nigerian journalists on TELA Maize reporting, held in Kano.
Dr. Oikeh said, to avoid further loss to Fall Armyworm and reduce the cost of maize importation, it is better for Nigeria to adopt the technology now or else it will adopt much later when the products are produced elsewhere and dumped on the country.
The Project Manager said the Nigerian government, civil societies and scientists also need to embark on a nationwide sensitization tour for farmers to understand the benefit of the maize varieties.
He suggested that more field trials should be carried out across Nigeria in order to carry farmers along to understand how TELA Maize can improve their production at the end of the season.
According to him, instead of using the conventional methods, the breeders are now embracing TELA Maize technology to improve the efficiency and expand the process of breeding or developing new crop varieties.
He said, Nigeria is expected to save over N360 billion which it spends on importing over 4 million metric tonnes of maize annually.
Nigeria produces an average of 11 million metric tonnes of maize annually while its annual local consumption stands at 15 millions metric tonnes.
Dr. Oikeh added that TELA Maize is a new variety which is water efficient, drought tolerance and also fights insects and pests such as Fall Armyworm.