The Federal Government, in partnership with Export Trade Group and Nigeria Agro Inputs Dealers Association, on Thursday, unveiled disease-resistant hybrid maize seeds to boost crop production as the planting season begins.
Officials from the Federal Government’s Institute of Agricultural Research, the trade group, as well as NAIDA, unveiled the ETG M401 and ETG M601 hybrid maize varieties to farmers in Abuja, stating that the new seeds had the potential of delivering higher yields.
The Executive Director, IAR, Prof. Mohammad Ishyiku, said the institute was working with ETG and agro-input dealers to ensure that the seeds were used by farmers to produce early maturing maize, with adequate nutrients and better yields.
“This is a right step and it is an innovation that will surely boost the output of our farmers nationwide, and ensure increased incomes for them after harvesting and delivering to the market,” Ishyiku, who was represented by the Principal Investigator, IAR, Dr Muyideen Oyekunke, stated.
The Business Development Manager, ETG Nigeria, Goodluck Nkemakolam, explained that the group was working with all the necessary arms of government to ensure that farmers take advantage of the hybrid seeds.
“We are working with the government, because for any investor to thrive in any country, they must follow the laws of the country. All the required agencies are involved in what we are trying to do, from the seeds council, IAR, Ministry of Agriculture, agro-input dealers, etc.
The government is aware that we are here. ETG has been there for a while, with respect to training. However, on the part of inputs, we want to ensure that even the farmers whose products you are buying, in terms of off-take, have good inputs that will help generate better harvest,” he stated.
He said the group had supported over 10,000 farmers in Nigeria through its trading arm, adding that the new hybrid maize seeds would further deepen the firm’s presence in the country’s agriculture space.
“Currently, from our commodity part, we’ve reached out to over 10,000 farmers through our trading aspect. However, from the inputs sector, we are aligning and when we finish the registration process and the product is released, we will engage many more farmers,” Nkemakolam stated.
The Chief Executive Officer, ETG Inputs HoldCo Limited, Ashish Lakhotia, said the hybrid maize was an early maturing, white grain hybrid with thick stems, having low placed and long cob with hard grains.
“The cobs are well covered with husks and having good dry down and ease to harvest. The seeds are excellent in drought tolerance, mature between 100 and 110 days, have medium height, and have very good resistance to all common diseases,” he stated.