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IAR&T develops new maize varieties for southern ecologies



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The Acting Head of the Programme of the Maize Improvement Programme for Southern Ecologies, Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T) Ibadan, Dr Julius Olasoji has disclosed in Ibadan on Wednesday that the institute has developed new maize varieties that are of great economic benefits to humans.

Olasoji who said that the institute has mandate on the genetic improvement of maize varieties to deal with the challenges of low yields among farmers, added that the varieties would also ensure laudable food production in Southern agro-ecologies of the country.

The new maize varieties are Ife Maize hyb-08 with plant height 170 to 178cm, white grain colour, and dent grain texture, with 57 days to mid-silken, 98 days of maturity and 8.60t/ha yield potential.

Olasoji says that the new varieties are tolerant to all folia diseases with multipurpose utilisation potential and has a 9.50t/ha yield potential with 60 days to mid-silken and 110 days to maturity. “The variety, is also tolerant to maize streak virus, rust, leaf blight, curvlinear leaf spot and the utilisation potential is multipurpose, “ Olasoji said.

Olasoji, who is a seed scientist, said that the programme was also able to identify micro-organisms and plant samples for maize diseases control, adding that the institute also have formulation of eco-friendly coating methods for the control of seed-borne diseases of maize.

“Diffusion of quality seeds of improved maize varieties for farmers in the Southern agro- ecologies of Nigeria, “ Olasoji added. He further said that the farmers have access to the varieties through farming system programmes