Tela Maize technology has been identified as the surest option in the development of maize production and boosting agricultural produce in the country.
The technology developed by agricultural scientists and researchers at the Institute for Agricultural Research, IAR, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, resists fall armyworm, stem borers and tolerate moderate drought.
Prof. Muhammad Faguji Ishiyaku, Executive Director IAR/ABU Zaria, stated this during the TELA maize farmers field tagged “Seeing is believing tour” held at Kakangi village in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
He said the Tela maize variety, resistant of pest, would save the country billions of naira spent annually on the importation of insecticides to spray the farm produce against pests that destroys and became responsible for the low productivity of produce.
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While applauding the farmers that adopted the institute’s technology, the agricultural expert said “it was because of the confidence farmers has on IAR that made them adopt the technology without trial. It is not easy to adopt new things and take the risk.
“However, I believe the farmers are now happy to see the high yield in less two months of planting the crop variety,” he said.
Prof. Faguji urged federal, state and local governments to make agricultural production cheaper so that the margin that will accrue from agricultural activities will be more profitable to farmers.
“Agriculture will continue to serve as an employer of labour for up to 66 percent equivalent of about 160 million Nigerians, when given the desired boost,” he noted.
Earlier, Prof. Rabi’u Adamu, Principal Investigator of the project, said after completing research work on fall armyworm resistance variety of the tela maize, farmers were given the option to evaluate and select from five samples planted in the demonstration farm.
He said “it is only when farmers evaluate and select that the institute could forward the technology to the federal government for subsequent adoption.”
Kabir Salihu, Kaduna State Chairman Maize Farmers Association, applauded the institute for releasing numerous varieties of maize seed that has boosted agricultural production and ensured food security in the country.