By Olasunkanmi Akoni,
Lagos State Government said it has distributed one ton of Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR) – Y (Yellow) hybrid maize seedlings to 650 farmers despite fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Downy Mildew and Leaf Streak are diseases that destroy the maize seeds thereby affecting farmers’ harvest but this hybrid maize variety is resistant to these diseases.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed this on Wednesday.
Lawal explained that the donation was part of the state government’s efforts at dealing with the problem of shortage of food caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as palliatives for them for the on-going planting season aimed at ensuring food security.
According to Lawal, maize being one of the most useful cereal crops in West Africa is an important source of carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B and minerals and is known to digest very quickly.
The commissioner stressed that maize was very simple to cultivate and easy to maintain, especially the maize Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR) – Y (Yellow) hybrid maize seed which has an early maturing window of 75 days.
Lawal stated that apart from the early maturity benefit of the DMR-LSR-Y hybrid maize, it is also resistant to leaf defoliation and cob diseases, requires minimal amount of fertilizer dosage just as it is highly resistant to maize streak which affects the seedlings at maturity and is highly nutritional to the human body.
“With all the qualities, there will be a better and higher yield than what farmers had been having at harvests thus culminating in more profit. The effect is that the farmers have seeds to plant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic where they’ve been finding it difficult to get good seeds and inputs.
“Also, the seeds are hybrid which means that they can multiply it for late maize and next year’s planting seasons. Hybrid maize usually generates high yields, increased value and reduced production costs. The plants are bigger, stronger and more vigorous,” Lawal asserted.
Lawal noted that in view of the importance of maize farming in Nigeria, efforts are continuously geared towards increasing maize farming yield per unit area of land and to extending areas where it can be grown, especially the cultivation of dry areas as improved through irrigation.
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