Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Prof. Ibrahim Umar-Abubakar, confirmed on Tuesday the latest development in the institute as they just released 17 new improved crop varieties that are climate resilient.
He revealed the good news at the recently commissioned Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall, IAR, Zaria, Kaduna during the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning Meeting. The focus of the meeting was centered around the theme, which states : “Harnessing the Potentials of Agricultural Export in Nigeria: The Role of Key Stakeholders.”
Varieties of the new crops to be released as confirmed by Umar-Abubakar are; sorghum, groundnut, cowpea, cotton and maize and many more.
He said: “Our research focus in IAR has always been geared toward achieving the noble objectives of ensuring adequate food on the table of every Nigerian household.
“This is why we work assiduously to come-up with new crop varieties from our mandate crops, which are climate resilient and most acceptable to the farmers.
“In this connection, our efforts in the preceding year resulted in release of seventeen varieties of various mandate crops.”
The Director listed some of the newly released crop varieties to include; sorghum varieties (SAMSORG 47, 48 and 49) with peculiar traits quite relevant to Nigeria farming system.
While giving explanations on the new crop varieties Abubakar disclosed that, the yellow seeded SAMSORG 47, had a maturity speed of between 120-125 days, coupled with an impressive grain yield of 4.8 tones per hectare. He also added that it was tolerant to smut disease.
Thus, while describing SAMSORG 48, he revealed its similar to SAMSORG 47 in terms of colour, stressing that it was equally yellow seeded with potential yield of 4.7 tones per hectare and matured between 125-130 days, assuring that it was tolerant to Striga and suitable for Sudan and Northern Guinea ecologies.
On the other hand, Umar-Abubakar described the SAMSORG 49 for its physical uniqueness from the aforementioned as is white seeded and yields up to 2.8 tones per hectare with an early maturity period of 85-95 days. He further confirmed that the crop’s adaptability to Sudan and Sahel Savannah ecologies.
The Director said three additional new groundnut varieties (SAMNUT 27, 28 and 29) were released, saying SAMNUT 27 has high pod yields of 3.5 tones per hectare with early maturity period and resistant to rosette.
Meanwhile, the Director urged the National Assembly and Federal Government hasten up in enacting public policies for deliberate investments to support agricultural productivity, diversification, production and development of agribusiness and agrifood value chain.