The Lagos State Government says it has released hybrid maize seedlings to 650 farmers, as palliatives to support them for the on-going planting season.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this, explained that the donation was part of the state’s efforts at dealing with the problem of food shortage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Lawal, maize being one of the most useful cereal crops in West Africa is an important source of carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B and minerals, known to digest very quickly.
The Commissioner stressed that maize was very simple to cultivate and easy to maintain, especially the maize Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR) – Y (Yellow) hybrid maize seed, which has an early maturing window of 75 days.
Lawal said apart from the early maturity benefit of the DMR-LSR-Y hybrid maize, it is also resistant to leaf defoliation and cob diseases, requires minimal amount of fertilizer dosage, just as it is highly resistant to maize streak which affects the seedlings at maturity and is highly nutritional to the human body.
He said: “With all the qualities, there will be a better and higher yield than what farmers had been having at harvests thus culminating in more profit. The effect is that the farmers have seeds to plant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, where they’ve been finding it difficult to get good seeds and inputs.
“Also, the seeds are hybrid, which means that they can multiply it for late maize and next year’s planting seasons. Hybrid maize usually generates high yields, increased value and reduced production costs. The plants are bigger, stronger and more vigorous.”