As part of efforts to address food security, sustainability and sufficiency in the country, the Federal Government has given approval for release of ten crops including four varieties of wheat, four potato varieties and two synthetic maize varieties used in production of bread and other pastas.
This was disclosed yesterday by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds and Fisheries during its 32nd meeting held at the Conference hall, National Centre For Genetic Resources And Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The approval followed an earlier submission by the Technical Sub-Commitee (TSC) of the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds and Fisheries at its 36th meeting. The four new wheat varieties comprised two bread wheat varieties (Borlaug100 and Neloki) and two durum-wheat varieties (Crino and Bayoreca).
The wheat varieties were submitted by the Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, Nigeria, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Mexico and Flour Milling Association of Nigeria.
Stakeholders at the meeting including, Head of Department, Cereal Research, LCRI, Dr Zakari Turaki; an Agronomist, Floor Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), Mr Hamed Abdulahi; Director/CEO, LCRI, Maiduguri, Prof Babagana Kabir; and Registrar NACGRAB, Dr Anthony Okere, all agreed that the new wheat varieties are high yield and will in a short time help address the importation of wheat which largely accounts for high cost of bread and pasta.
Abdulahi said FMAN collaborated with the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) for the release of the four wheat varieties with both financial and technical support to ensure the release, adding that the association will ensure the processing and promotion of the varieties among the millers.
He said “The gains and quality parameters of these varieties are outstanding and the Milling industry is keenly interested in making sure that these varieties get to the Nigerian farmers and they cultivate. This will in turn save Nigeria the billions of Naira spent on import of wheat into the country by boosting local production.
“The FMAN is working with relevant stakeholders to improve local wheat production in the country, cutting import and saving the country’s naira and that is why the partnership with LCRI is paramount
“We are glad with the release of these high yield varieties for farmers to cultivate and we will continue to support Nigerian farmers to grow these wheat locally so that our country will get to self sufficiency in wheat production”, he said.
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