Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New maize varieties to boost grain production in West and Central Africa

Date:
February 15, 2010
Source:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Summary:
Maize production in West and Central Africa is set to get a significant boost. Newly released varieties address many of the major constraints to grain production in the sub-region such as drought, low soil fertility, pests, diseases and parasitic weeds. Researchers developed the varieties through conventional plant breeding by tapping naturally-available traits.

Maize and other grains being sold at a farmer's market in Nigeria.
Credit: Photo by IITA

Maize production in West and Central Africa is set to get a much-needed boost with the release of improved varieties by the Nigeria National Variety Release Committee. The improved varieties address many of the major constraints to maize production such as drought, low soil fertility, pests, diseases, and parasitic weeds.

Researchers developed the varieties through conventional plant breeding by tapping naturally-available traits.

The varieties were developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in partnership with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) of the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Nigeria.

The released maize include 13 open-pollinated varieties of extra-early-, early-, intermediate-, and late-maturity with resistance to the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica and stem borers, tolerance to drought, and with good adaptation to sub-optimal soil nitrogen. Four hybrids with drought-tolerance have also been released.

The committee also approved two Striga-resistant and two white and two yellow productive hybrids developed at IITA in partnership with Premier Seeds Nigeria Limited. The company will commercially produce and market these hybrids.

Abebe Menkir, IITA maize breeder, says that the release of these varieties will hasten the adoption of improved maize cultivars by farmers in Nigeria, consequently increasing yields, raising farm incomes, and improving food security. The release of the improved varieties has sparked renewed optimism for maize farming in the WCA region.

"These varieties have the potential to provide farmers with opportunities to overcome the challenges to maize production in West and Central Africa," he added.

Maize farmers often suffer from infestation of parasitic weeds and prolonged droughts, rendering farms almost harvestless and farming households with little food and insufficient income for most of the year. Low soil fertility is often as devastating as droughts, while stem borers in the forest regions also hurt productivity.

Every year, IITA distributes improved open-pollinated varieties and hybrids to national partners and the private sector within and outside of the region through regional trials. These trials have been used as vehicles for selecting promising varieties and hybrids adapted to specific conditions in the different countries for extensive testing and later release.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). "New maize varieties to boost grain production in West and Central Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215100755.htm>.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). (2010, February 15). New maize varieties to boost grain production in West and Central Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215100755.htm
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). "New maize varieties to boost grain production in West and Central Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215100755.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins