In Nigeria, Newly Developed Maize Variety Resisting Fall Armyworms – NABDA

TELA, a newly developed maize variety, according to the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), has shown resistance to Fall Armyworms causing huge devastation to maize in Nigeria.

The agency also pointed out that following field trials, the harvest has shown remarkable progress in maize farming.

NABDA’s Director-General, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, made this known while talking on the economic benefits of TELA maize during the harvesting of the maize’s 3rd CFT in Zaria

Mustapha also disclosed that the agency was set to partner with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to further promote genetically improved maize variety.

The collaboration, according to him, will enhance biotechnology usage, research and development in agriculture.

He reiterated that NABDA will continue to work hand-in-hand with IAR as well as other relevant institutions to promote biotechnology research and development in agriculture, adding that it will help to revive the sector and make it a net contributor to the country’s GDP.

Mustapha equally faulted the misconception that biotechnology crops are not edible adding that anybody who has scientific proof that biotechnology developed crops cause ailments in humans should present such evidence.

While Mustapha noted, ‘’in each and everything you do some people will negate it, there is no scientific evidence that says improving crop using biotechnology has a negative effect to health”, the Principal Investigator of the project, Prof. Rabiu Adamu, on his part said the research was about increasing the productivity of maize in Nigeria.

Adamu explained that in the recent past, the yield of maize had been very low with less than three tons per hectare, adding that the new seed variety developed by the institute has the potential of raising output to over eight tons per hectare.

He also noted that the institute was presently working on new hybrids and varieties that are resistant to drought and pests such as stembora and fall armyworm.


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