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April 20, 2024

HarvestPlus, ICRISAT unveil improved millet seeds

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By Aminu Garko

HarvestPlus Nigeria, an agric development project, has introduced two improved millet varieties to accelerate cereal crop production in the country.

The Country Director, HarvestPlus Nigeria, Dr Yusuf Dollah said this at the investiture of the improved seeds on Thursday in Kano.

He said the seeds had been developed in collaboration with the International Crop Research Institute (ICRISAT) and Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) to champion food transformation initiative in Africa.

Dollah said the seeds tagged: Jirano and Chakti were the pioneer pearl millet varieties released in Africa.

“The first biofortified varieties initiative build on scaling efforts in India, where the number of farming households growing iron pearl millet jumped 395 per cent since 2021.

“HarvestPlus developed and promote biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals thereby providing leadership on biofortification evidence and technology.

According to him, climate votality in northern Nigeria has led to decreased crop yields and nutrients in some of the staples, adding that increased food prices and heightened food insecurity worsened cases of malnutrition.

“Smallholder farmers are also looking for opportunities to bridge production yield gap brought about by climate stress through improved agricultural technologies like nutrient enriched seeds,” he said.

He said the new millet varieties would improve nutrition for millions of farming households providing up to 80 per cent of daily iron needs when eating regularly.

Earlier, the Country Representative, LCRI, Prof. Baba Gana-Jugudum, expressed optimism that the varieties would add value to end users.

He said the institute would soon released more seed varieties to enhance specific food system transformation. (NAN)www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali

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