New High-Yielding Maize Varieties Emerge From Ile-Ife
• Grain Size, Starch Content Favours Milling Business
DR. Samuel Adelowo Olakojo and his team at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan, have successfully released two new maize hybrids – Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08.
The new hybrids have potential yields of 7.0/ha and 8.5t/ha respectively, attracting preference from most farmers, mainly due to other qualities, including early maturity, which has an advantage during erratic rainfall seasons, especially in the second planting in South West Nigeria, and grain size and high starch content, which are good for livestock feed mill. For instance, the Ife Maizehyb-08 weighs better and has high energy to release from feed.
According to experts, here is a real gap between production and needs of maize in the southern part of Nigeria, which is mainly due to demographic increase, drought, diseases, new requirements from end-users (poultry feed, livestock feed, breweries, processors etc.) and appearance of agri-business farmers, who are requesting hybrids.
The humid forest ecologies of Nigeria are great potential zones for maize production, which can help to reduce this gap with the availability of high yielding adapted hybrids such as the Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08.
Dr. Toure Aboubacar, AGRA’s Program Officer for Crop Improvement and Variety Adoption said: “AGRA’s strategy to meet the needs of smallholder farmers across Africa is yielding great results. We are very happy that our support to national research institutions to develop, register and release improved varieties of staple crops such as maize is paying off as exemplified by the release of these two new maize varieties.
Our work is aligned with the Nigerian government’s policy on maize value chain development.”
The Ife Maize hyb-07, which was formerly called SW5-OB x IART-INBRED1 is a top cross hybrid of ART/98/SW5-OB x IART Inbred 1 pedigree. It has forest and derived savanna agro-ecologies adaptation with 98 days maturity period, and 7.0t/ha potential yield character.
It is also tolerant to maize streak virus, rust, leaf blight, and curvularia leaf spot with an outstanding dent floury grain character containing starch, ash, fat, and protein. Similarly, the Ife Maize-hyb 08, formerly called Ile 1 –OB x IAR-INBRED 1, has a potential yield of 8.50/ha and 110 days to maturity. Ife Maize hyb-08 has similar other characteristics as the Ife Maize hyb-07.
The release of these varieties has been made possible through AGRA’s grant to the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan, Nigeria, and the hard work of Olakojo and his team, who managed a team of professional breeders.