The Federal Government has given new rice and other crop varieties to reinforce its commitment to boost food production in the country.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the new rice variety known as FAR068 and other crop varieties were released to the committee of farmers during the 31st meeting of National Committee on Naming Registration and Release Crop Varieties, Livestock Breed/Fisheries held at the Conference Hall, Secretariat of the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Moore Plantation, Ibadan.
The Chairman, National Release Committee, Chief Oladosu Awoyemi made this known on Thursday in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State.
At the meeting attended by many agriculture experts, researchers, breeders, Awoyemi told his listeners that a total of 25 crop varieties were submitted for registration, but 21 were approved and subsequently released.
He affirmed that the new rice variety was bred by the national Cereal Research Institute, Badeggi in Niger.
He declared that the lowland rice genotype was registered and released based on its early maturity and high grain yield.
“Other released crop varieties include; three new millet varieties with high iron an zinc content: high grain yield and presence of long bristles on panicle, namely LCIC MV5: LCIC MV6 AND LCIC MV7.
“Yam variety: UMUDa35-Delight: UMUDR33-Sunshine. These yam varieties were released based on high yield, good boiling and pounding qualities,
“Six hybrid maize varieties, namely, VSL2201;PAC 740; SAMMAZ 69: SC 555 AND Oba Super 8.
‘These new maize varieties were released based on high grain yield, tolerance to fall armywor, to major foliar disease, to multiple stresses, to striga, drought and low nitrogen.
Awoyemi noted that the Sorghum varieties were released because of the high yield and biomass: earliness: high iron (fe) content and dwarfness and their tolerance to striga.
He said, Five tomato varieties were also released during the meeting, these were HORTITOM 1: HORTITOM 2: HORTITTORM 3: PS TOM 1 AND PS TOM2.
He said the committee released tomato varieties based on their ‘tolerance to fusarium wilt, meloidogynein cognita, they contain good nutritional qualities and resistance to early blight.
It was said that the released were per with the released varieties in U.S, Kenya and other agriculture countries sector not become stagnant.
Awoyemi, who has been chairman of NVRC since 1991, use the opportunity of the meeting to announce his resignation from the committee due to old age.
The 88-year old man, charged the agriculturists to continue to be dedicated to the development of Nigeria, particularly in Agriculture, being the backbone of the nation’s economy.
He said, “So the frontiers of knowledge must continue to expand so that we come abreast with the developed world.”
Speaking at the meeting, the Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, said that the release of the 21 crop varieties would contribute immensely to the development of the farming system in the country.
Mustapha stated further that these new crop varieties, when farmers planted the seeds will give them high and quality yields, resistance to disease, drought and free of other constraints.
He urged farmers to ensure that they get the right seeds for planting.
The plant breeder, who specialized in rice breeding at National Cereal Research Institute, Badeggi, Niger, Mr. Mohammed Bashir, said that the presentation of the new rice variety would contribute significantly to food security in the country.
Bashir noted that the FAR068 rice would give better yield than existing commercial varieties in the country.
He said that the new rice variety could give about 11.6 metric tonnes per hectare under good management by Nigerian farmers, better than the four to eight metric tonnes per hectare being given by the existing varieties.