The newly developed variety of maize called TELA Maize has shown resistance to Fall Armyworms causing huge devastation to maize in Nigeria, the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has said.
The agency added that following field trials, the harvest has shown remarkable progress in maize farming.
Director-General of NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha made this known on Tuesday while briefing the journalist on the economic benefits of TELA maize during the harvesting of TELA Maize 3rd CFT in Zaria
Mustapha, also disclosed that the agency was set to partner with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to further promote genetically improved maize variety.
In his remarks, the collaboration would enhance biotechnology usage, research and development in agriculture.
The DG reiterated that the NABDA will continue to work hand-in-hand with IAR as well as other relevant institutions to promote biotechnology research and development in agriculture,
This, he added, will help to revive the sector and make it a net contributor to the country’s GDP.
Mustapha however, faulted the misconception that biotechnology crops are not edible adding that anybody who has scientific proof that biotechnology developed crops cause ailments in humans should present such evidence.
“In each and everything you do some people will negate it, there is no scientific evidence that says improving crop using biotechnology has a negative effect to health,” DG noted.
On his part, the Principal Investigator of the project, Prof. Rabiu Adamu, said that the research was about increasing the productivity of maize in Nigeria.
Adamu explained that in the recent past, the yield of maize had been very low with less than three tons per hectare.
The principal investigator added that the new seed variety developed by the institute has the potential of raising output to over eight tons per hectare.
He also noted that the institute was presently working on new hybrids and varieties that are resistant to drought and pests such as stembora and fall armyworm.
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