By Suleiman Shehu
The National Varieties Release Committee (NVRC) has released 18 high yielding crop varieties to boost Nigerian agricultural productivity in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s 9-point agenda.
The release of the new crop varieties was announced by NVRC chairman, Chief Oladosu Awoyemi during its 29th meeting at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan.
In a press statement from NACGRAB’s Registrar, Dr Sunday Aladele on Sunday, it was stated that the new varieties were approved out of a total of 25 varieties submitted for consideration by research institutions, universities and private seed companies.
The statement listed the varieties approved for release as, two sweet sorghum varieties (SAMSORG 50SW and SAMSORG 52SW), and four multipurpose cassava varieties (UMUCASS 47, UMUCASS 48, UMUCASS 49 and UMUCASS 50).
Also released are, one “poundable” cassava variety (UMUCASS 51), two white maize hybrids (SC667 and SC419), one yellow maize variety (ILOMAZ – 1), and two pro- vitamin A maize varieties (SAMMAZ 59 and SAMMAZ 60).
Others are, one medium maturing top – cross maize variety (SAMMAZ 61), two maize hybrids (SAMMAZ 62 and SAMMAZ 63), and three yam varieties (Dioscorea alata – UMUDa 31 and Dioscorea rotundata – UMUDr 29 and UMUDr 30).
The statement explained that the sorghum varieties were released based on their high brix content and high extract yield.
It declared that the cassava varieties were released based on high quality flour product and high dry matter while the maize varieties were released based on high grain yield and excellent husk cover, tolerance to drought, low nitrogen and high pro – vitamin A content.
The three yam varieties were released based on slow rate of oxidation, ability to be eaten in pounded form, high yield, and high dry matter content.
The statement disclosed that apart from the 18 released varieties, two hybrid cotton were just registered by the Committee to serve as refuge for the released Bt Cotton.
The two hybrid cotton are (MAHYCO C 567 and MAHYCO C 571), approved for registration only.
Developers of the 18 released crop varieties include, the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
Other developers are, the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, the University of Ilorin, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training Ibadan; and Seed Co. Nigeria Ltd.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Kenya, Bayer Crop Science , Petit, South Africa, and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Kenya are also among developers of the released varieties.
It also noted that Awoyemi in his vote of thanks said the meeting was held once or twice yearly with the target of increasing agricultural productivity of Nigerian famers through provision of high yielding crop varieties. (NAN)