A boost for Nigerian farmers: New varieties introduced

A boost for Nigerian farmers: New varieties introduced

In a significant development for Nigeria’s agricultural sector, the National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) has announced the release of several new crop varieties, highlighting the country’s progress in the plant variety release system of Nigeria.

New high-performing cultivars introduced through the Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) innovation pilots were also released. This initiative aims to expedite the release of productivity improving new varieties, fostering partnerships between international and national research institutions and private seed companies.

Four new crop varieties were released through these CSP innovations, including the Kabamanoj Yellow Maize Hybrid and the Champion Gold 68 maize variety. The Kabamanoj Yellow Maize Hybrid, bred by UPL India and released by RICECO International Limited, is a drought-tolerant, disease-resistant hybrid with excellent stay-green qualities. This new variety will provide maize farmers with a valuable new option for increasing their yields and resilience to harsh climate conditions.

The Champion Gold 68 maize variety, developed by breeder R. Nanda Kumar and released by MONSIPO NIG LTD, boasts high yield potential and tolerance for devastating maize diseases in Nigeria. This new variety is expected to significantly reduce crop losses and improve the incomes of smallholder farmers.

In addition to these new maize varieties, the CSP innovations also led to the release of two new pepper varieties, PS PEP 1 and PS PEP 2, bred by Premier Seed Nigeria Limited in collaboration with international partners. These varieties offer resistance to infectious diseases that spread rapidly and high yields, providing farmers with a valuable new tool for reducing crop losses and improving their incomes.

These new varieties are expected to provide significant benefits to smallholder farmers by improving yields, nutrition, and resilience. By reducing the need for pesticides and other chemicals, these resilient varieties will also help to ensure sustainable incomes for smallholder farmers and contribute to the diversification of crops on farmers’ fields.

The CSP has also made significant strides in streamlining the release process for new crop varieties in the ECOWAS region. Before the CSP’s intervention, varieties released in other ECOWAS states went through the same process as those not released before. However, through the support of the CSP, varieties in the ECOWAS harmonized catalogs are now released within 12 months with confirmatory trials alone, a massive improvement from the previous 36-month release process.

The release of these new crop varieties in Nigeria represents a significant step towards a higher circulation of improved seed varieties that are resilient to harsh climate conditions in the Nigerian agricultural landscape. This development is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in driving progress in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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