By Amos Tauna-
The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has released 3 varieties of maize, SAMMAZ 49, SAMMAZ 50 and SAMMAZ 51 last year.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Professor Ibrahim Umar Abubakar, made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the Institute’s 3 day Research Review and Planning meeting of stakeholders in Agriculture consisting, Scientists, Policy makers, Extension Officers, Media, Agro Producers, Processor and Marketers as well as Farmers held the Institute, Wednesday.
He said that the mandate of his Institute in hundred years of its existence was geared towards improving livelihood Farmers nationwide.
Professor Abubakar stated that the variety SAMMAZ 49 and SAMMAZ 50 were hybrid with orange and white grain colours respectively, saying that as for SAMMAZ 49 in addition was pro-vitamin (A) and could yield up to 7.8 tonnes per hectre.
The Director pointed out that SAMMAZ 50 was drought and striga tolerant variety with yields of 9.3 tonnes per hectre, while SAMMAZ 51 variety was open pollinated with yields of 8.5 tonnes per hectre.
He explained that plans were under way for the release of additional 10 variety of Maize this coming season by the Institute.
“The Institute has several candidate varieties of sorghum, groundnuts, cowpea and jatropha being prepared for release soon.
“The candidate varieties are not only superior in yield to existing varieties but address most biotic and abiotic stress,” The Director affirmed.
Earlier in his remarks the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, said that Nigeria was undergoing gradual and rapid transformation from an oil dependent to a diversified agricultural based and mining economy , saying that it was stride toward self-actualization for a better Nigeria.
Professor Garba, represented by his Deputy on administration matters, Professor Kabir Bala, noted that the Research Institute was at the forefront of agricultural revolution in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration vision for sustainable food production and food security.
In his goodwill message, acting Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, Professor Andrew Voh, said that agricultural research would provide entrepreneurial skills to teeming population of the country youths in particular.
He said, “It is expected that the current agricultural research and extension drive should reflect current realities of National and global transformation to prevent ambiguity and re-package agriculture for better delivery and higher efficiency.”