Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ARI Laments Resistance of Farmers to Adoption of Improved Varieties

The Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) decried the attitude of farmers who had failed to embrace the use of improved varieties, leading to low productivity as a result of pests and diseases that destroyed plants and animals.

The Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) decried the attitude of farmers who had failed to embrace the use of improved varieties, leading to low productivity as a result of pests and diseases that destroyed plants and animals.

The Executive Director of the institute, Prof. Ado Adamu Yusuf, made this known while speaking during a demonstration of samples of new varieties of maize seeds tagged “Seeing is believing farming field day”, at a farm in Karaye local government area of Kano State.

Prof. Yusuf disclosed that the institute has a mandate for genetic improvement of several crops by producing high-yield varieties that are resistant to diseases and tolerant to drought to ensure an increase in food production and food sufficiency.

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“ARI has developed 69 varieties of maize. With more than 50 varieties of sorghum, we have released 21 varieties of cowpea, about 29 varieties of groundnut, 17 varieties of cotton, and four varieties of sunflower. So the institute has been doing a lot.”

“Unfortunately, as you move around the farmers’ field, you will realize that they continue to use the same variety, and you will discover that they continue to use the same variety that they have been using over the years. And they are not getting the best out of the variety”.

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The Principal Investigator, Tela Maize Prof. Rabi’u Adamu, noted on his own that Nigeria needs an additional 5 million metric tons, to bridge the gap in maize production demand in the country, stating that current maize production stands at 15 million MT while Nigeria needs 20 million MT.

According to him, the shortage in maize production demand was a result of the invasion of pests, especially Fall Army Worm, that destroyed the crops, which calls for the need for IAR to develop improved maize varieties that are resistant to the disease in order to bridge the gap in production.

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