LCRI launched new commercialized wheat varieties
- Written by Super User
He said also that the varieties would be cropped in some other states in the country, as they are suitable for both wet and dry seasons farming.
Olabanji, who is also the Team Leader of the Wheat Value Chain of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, stated that Mambilla Plateau in Taraba, Obudu in Cross River, Jos in Plateau states would be used for growing rain-fed wheat, while Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Borno, Zamfara, Kebbi, Plateau, Sokoto, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa and Katsina would be host to irrigated wheat farms.
He said the tropical varieties, including Norman Borlaug and Reyna-28, which had undergone testing, have been proven to garner more yields per hectare, compared to the one-tonne yield per hectare of the conventional wheat seeds in the country, while also expressing hope that using irrigated agriculture to augment the demand of 3.7million tonnes of wheat consumed in Nigeria yearly, as well as reduce the import bill on wheat.
“In 2010 import bill for African countries was $12.5 billion; Nigeria alone spent $4 billion of this amount. Therefore, specific targeted interventions and development of wheat varieties suitable for different agro-ecological zones in Nigeria are necessary to replace excessive dependence on wheat importation,” he said.
The institute, according to him, is promoting production of early maturing, high-yielding and heat tolerant bread wheat varieties (Norman Borlaug and Reyna-28), disclosing further that the two new varieties will be released in December.