The Lagos State Government has distributed one ton of hybrid maize seedlings to 650 farmers as palliatives for the ongoing planting season.
The hybrid maize variety was resistant to Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR)–Y (Yellow) diseases that destroy the maize seeds, thereby affecting farmers’ harvest.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
Lawal said that the donation of the seeds to the farmers was parts of the state government’s efforts at dealing with the problem of shortage of food caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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 said 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.
He said apart from the early maturity benefit of the hybrid maize, it was also resistant to leaf defoliation and cob diseases, which requires minimal amount of fertiliser dosage.
Lawal said it was also highly resistant to maize streak, which affects the seedlings at maturity and was highly nutritional to 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 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 said.
Lawal noted that in view of the importance of maize farming in the country, efforts were continuously geared toward increasing maize farming yield per unit area of land.
He added that efforts also focussed on extending areas where maize could be grown, especially the cultivation of dry areas as improved through irrigation. (NAN)