Food security: Plant resistant Maize varieties to improve production – IAR&T

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan has asked Nigerian farmers to plant resistant maize varieties and embrace crop rotation with non-host crops to improve production of maize.
IAR&T Team Leader, Dr. Olugbenga Egbetokun made the call in Eruwa at a maize capacity building/ training programme tagged ‘Maize Improvement Programme for Southern Farmers’ to farmers in Saki, Oyo and Ibadan-Ibarapa
Dr Egbetokun pointed out that major problems facing maize production in the country included pests, pathogenes, mechanical, environmental and chemical factors such as insects, mites, rodents, birds and mammals.
Identifying others major problems facing maize production as disease breakage, temperature, light, moisture, oxygen, lightning, wind and fertilizer or pest excess and nutritional disorder, the team leader said the capacity building/ training programmeaimed was targeted at improving the productivity
“This is another opportunity for us to get feedback from farmers and proffer solutions. All the challenges they have identified, we are providing solutions to them. In the team, we have plant breeders, we have pathologists, entomologists and agricultural economists in the team and we are doing this to improve the production of farmers and improve productivity”,he said.
Dr Egbetokun maintained that the capacity building for maize farmers  earlier held in Saki and Oyo was aimed towards increasing productivity and profitability of maize production among the farmers in the state.
“We are moving around Oyo State to empower farmers’ technical-know-how on how to increase their production and improve productivity of maize and it is all encompassing training which includes all areas of specialty of our seasoned scientists in IAR&T”.
The IAR&T team leader however urged farmers to maintain standard plant population and soil fertility, good farm sanitation and cultural practices, proper residue management, use of chemical and fertilizers based on recommendation, use integrated pest management and store seeds at 12% moisture content to ensure improve productivity.
Speaking, the Eleruwa of Eruwa Oba Samuel Adebayo Adegbola tasked the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture to establish irrigation farms and dams in the South-West as done in the North.
Oba Adegbola said the training was timely coming up at a period when Nigeria is looking for other ways to make money, saying, “it is time the government make irrigation farms functional in the region”.
“I am calling on the Federal Government to establish irrigation farms and dams in the southwest to boost our own production. You know the only profession that predates farming is hunting. Farming is an instrument of development which should not to be neglected. We have jettisoned farming after the discovery of the oil, I am happy that Nigeria has realized itself that we are now going back to the farm. Now, apart from production, we must think of storage, we have to prepare for harvesting time and time of scarcity.”

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