The federal government, through the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), has introduced to farmers in Akwa Ibom state a hybrid maize fortified with disease and grass resistance in order to improve productivity and promote food security.
The NASC’s South-South zonal director, Mmoeyak Usua, disclosed this new development at the 2020 Farmers’ Field Day organized by the council in collaboration with Premier Seeds, Du Pont and Bayer Seed Companies in Uyo.
The NASC was established in December 2007 to build a market-driven seed industry for the production and distribution of high-quality and improved planting materials, making them available, accessible and affordable to all farmers.
Local seeds are characterized by many deficiencies including low yield, a long duration to reach maturity and a lack of resistance to pests and diseases, among other factors, all which have been resolved in improved seed varieties.
According to the director, the hybrid seed known as OBA SUPER 13, which originated from the International Institute for Tropical Research, has passed through a series of international research tests and has been discovered to possess superior quality over the local seeds.
He further explained that the new seed variety has the high-yield capacity to produce between 5,000 and 7,000 tons per hectare three times a year, and advised farmers in the region to buy the seed only from registered seed companies.
“They are matured and doing well, because when we planted them; in the whole of August 2020, there was no rain but they survived. This particular demonstration was meant to compare the superiority of the hybrid seed with local materials.”
Glory Edet, Akwa Ibom’s commissioner for agriculture, has applauded the council and the seed companies over the introduction of the improved seed to farmers.