The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has distributed five tonnes(1,000kg) of high yield maize seed variety resistant to downy mildew and streak diseases to farmers in the South-West Zone.
The institute’s Executive Director, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ibadan that the five states of Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti received one tonne (1000kg) each.
Obatolu said that farmers in Oyo State would soon receive their own from the seed store of the institute.
She said the seeds distributed were for cultivation of 50 hectares of land in each state.
Obatolu explained that since maize was a source of some major food in the South West Zone, the institute decided to address likely seed shortage for maize cultivation.
She said that access to quality seeds remained the bedrock of agricultural productivity, adding that the outbreak of COVID-19 was likely to affect economic strength which may make quality seeds inaccessible to farmers.
“This may likely encourage seed adulteration and invariably lead to reduced yield and hunger.
“Therefore to mitigate likely food shortage and hunger, IAR&T tthought it wise to reach out to farmers through state ministries of agriculture and Agricultural Development Programmes.
“The aim of the distribution is also to reduce likely stress of accessing quality seed by farmers due to various forms of lock down,” the executive director said.
She advised farmers to make good use of the seeds and maintain physical distancing while on field.
“COVID-19 has come, it will go by God’s grace, rain has come, it will not wait for us, so now is the time for farmers to go to the field and plant the seed for us to be food secured during and after COVID-19,” she said.
NAN reports that IAR&T is a multi-commodity national research institute that serves as a national center for integrated research on improvement of genetic potentials of crops such as maize and livestock.
The institute also works on improvement on seed supply, yield and quality as well as utilisation of food and industrial crops and livestock that are adaptable to agro-ecological zones of the South-West Zone.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)