The Federal Government has approved for release 15 new variety of hybrid crops for Nigerian farmers to boost agriculture in the country.
The crops were officially released at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan, during the 22nd meeting of National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds/Fisheries.
Announcing the release, Prof. Soji Olufajo, chairman national Technical Sub – Committee (Crops) said the crops were approved out of a total of 18 varieties submitted to the sub -committee.
Olufajo said the newly released crops were developed by Nigerian and foreign scientists, universities, seed companies and research institutes.
He said the new crop varieties included two elite upland rice variety (Faro 64 and Faro 65), three tomato hybrids (KILELE, CHIBLI and TYLKA) and five maize hybrids varieties (SAMMAZ 43, SAMMAZ 44, SC651, and two Ife maize hybrids).
Olufajo said others are one Aflatoxin resistant maize variety (SAMMAZ 45), two cowpea varieties (SAMPEA 16 and SAMPEA 17) and two wheat varieties (LACRI WHIT-7 and LACRI WHIT – 8).
On the rice varieties, he said both Faro 64 and Faro 65 were recommended for release based on early maturity, high yield and drought tolerance.
Speaking on the three tomato varieties, Olufajo said KILELE was recommended for release based on high yield, firm fruits and tolerance to Fusarium wilt and late blight.
Dr. Sunday Aladele, Registrar of NACGRAB thanked the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for support received towards the hosting of the meeting.
The meeting was presided over by the Chairman, National Varieties Release Committee, Chief Oladosu Awoyemi and attended by scientists and developers of the new crop varieties or their representatives.