Prof. Ibrahim Umar-Abubakar, Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) on Tuesday said the institute has released 17 new improved crop varieties that are climate resilient.
He made the disclosure at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning Meeting held at the newly commissioned Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall, IAR, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the meeting is: “Harnessing the Potentials of Agricultural Export in Nigeria: The Role of Key Stakeholders.”
Umar-Abubakar identified the new crop varieties released to include; sorghum, groundnut, cowpea, cotton and maize among others.
He said: “Our research focus in IAR has always been geared toward achieving the noble objectives of ensuring adequate food on the table of every Nigerian household.
“This is why we work assiduously to come-up with new crop varieties from our mandate crops, which are climate resilient and most acceptable to the farmers.
“In this connection, our efforts in the preceding year resulted in release of seventeen varieties of various mandate crops.”
The Director listed some of the newly released crop varieties to include; sorghum varieties (SAMSORG 47, 48 and 49) with peculiar traits quite relevant to Nigeria farming system.
According to him, SAMSORG 47, which yellow seeded, had high grain yield of 4.8 tones per hectare and mature in 120-125 days, adding that it was tolerant to smut disease and suitable for Sudan and Northern Guinea Savannah ecologists.
He added that SAMSORG 48 was equally yellow seeded with potential yield of 4.7 tones per hectare and matured between 125-130 days, assuring that it was tolerant to Striga and suitable for Sudan and Northern Guinea ecologies.
Umar-Abubakar said SAMSORG 49 is white seeded and yields up to 2.8 tones per hectare with an early maturity period of 85-95 days, adding that it was adaptable for Sudan and Sahel Savannah ecologies.
The Director said three additional new groundnut varieties (SAMNUT 27, 28 and 29) were released, saying SAMNUT 27 has high pod yields of 3.5 tones per hectare with early maturity period and resistant to rosette.
He explained that SAMNUT 28 and 29 have pot yields of 3.1 tones per hectare an 33 tones per hectare respectively with medium maturing period and suitable to Northern Guinea an Sudan ecologies.
In this regard, he said, the Federal Government and the National Assembly should enact public policies for deliberate investments to support agricultural productivity, diversification, production and development of agribusiness and agrifood value chain.