Why We Must Discourage Maize Importation — IAR&T Boss
Executive Director, Professor James Adediran, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has emphasised the need for Nigeria to increase its maize production to avoid the crop’s importation into the country.
He made the remark during the youth empowerment training on maize value chain organised by the institute in collaboration with Olusola Olojede Company, Ibadan.
The training which held on the premises of the institute was sponsored by the Senate and Federal House of Representatives Committees on agriculture.
Adediran, who was represented by the IAR&T Deputy Director, Dr Jelili Saka, said maize enterprise demonstrated unending potential in addressing household food security and industrial growth.
He noted that the crop was strategic to attainment of food security, as its importance in the industrial sector had continued to increase with growth of livestock, breweries, starch and breakfast meal industries.
The Director remarked that the enterprise was also responsive to soil fertility depletion, incidence of pests, diseases, especially the army worm infestation.
“These suggest that profitable maize production should take place in adequate consideration of these factors.
“IAR&T developed high yielding, disease resistant maize varieties adaptable to South-West agro-ecologies, as part of its mandates.
“They include: ART 98 SW6, ART 98 SWI, BR9928 DMR-SR-Y, BR 9928 DMR-SR-W, ILE-1-OB, DMR LSR-Y, DMR ESR-Y,” he said.
Adediran further assured the participants of quality training while urging them to make good use of the opportunity provided by the training to enrich themselves and make profit through maize production.
“The empowerment will provide us with starter pack for take-off, our resource persons, scientists will also be available at all times to provide guidance beyond this workshop,” he said.
Earlier, the Workshop Coordinator, Dr Julius Olasoji emphasized that seeds were most vital, crucial inputs for crop production and urged farmers to ensure they buy their seeds from reliable sources.
He said it was estimated that quality seeds of improved varieties could contribute about 25 to 40 per cent increase in yield.
“Quality seeds are genetically pure, have high return per unit area, less disease, insect problems, could respond well to applied fertilizers and nutrients, among others,” he said.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Olojede Company, Dr Olusola Olojede, said the farmers cut across South-west zone, were no fewer than 170.
He said the aim of the training was also to improve maize production in the country as well as farmers income.