Ibadan — Twelve new crop varieties developed by agricultural researchers were released to Nigerian farmers between July and December 2012, the Director, National Centre for Genetics Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Mr Wasiu Odofin has said.
Odofin, who was speaking to journalists in Ibadan, said the amount was approved out of a total of 25 varieties submitted for registration and approval to the National Committee (crops) on the Naming, Registration and Release of crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds and Fisheries.
Giving a breakdown, Odofin said that in July 2012, a total of 12 crop varieties were submitted for release and registration at the NACGRAB which is the Committee' s secretariat.
He said the figure was made up of eleven maize varieties that include eight from Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) another two from IAR; and one from Mosanto, the Candel Company Nigeria Limited.
He said apart from these, there was one variety of cassava submitted from the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, adding, "Out of the eleven maize varieties submitted for consideration, only five varieties were approved, released and registered. They include : Ife maize hyb-2, Ife maize hyb-3, Ife maize hyb-4, Ife maize hyb-5, and SNK 2778," Odofin said.
On the only cassava variety released in July, the NACGRAB chief executive said the variety "UMUCASS 41" was released based on its high starch yield and dry matter as well as high yield, adding that the cassava also had erect plant which was suitable for intercropping and dense population in plantations.
Speaking on the crop varieties released and registered in December 2012, he said a total of 13 varieties were submitted for release and registration and they include two sorghum hybrids from Aba Malting Plant, Aba, three cassava varieties from NRCRI Umudike and five maize varieties made up of two from IAR, IITA and University of Maiduguri; two from IITA, IAR and University of Ilorin; and one from Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) and IITA as well as three varieties of sweet potato from NRCRI Umudike.
He said out of the 13 crop varieties submitted for consideration, six were released that include two sorghum (CSR-03H & CSR-04H), two cassava (UMUCASS 43 & UMUCASS 44) and two sweet potato (UMUSP-1 & UMUSP-2).
He said Sorghum hybrid CSR-03H was released based on extra early maturity, high yield, good malting quality, stay green trait and small plant type which he said was amenable to mechanization while sorghum hybrid CSR-04H was released based on early maturity, high yield, good malting quality, stay green trait as well as bulky plant type with long internodes.
On the cassava varieties, Mr Odofin said the variety UMUCASS 43 was released on the basis of its distinguishing characters: high root yield, high dry matter content and moderate carotene content, adding, "The variety UMUCASS 44 was released based on its high dry matter content, high starch yield and good flour quality due to low fibre content."
On the two sweet potatoes, he said the variety UMUSP-1 was released based on high carotene content, high dry matter content, high root yield and resistance to sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) while the variety UMUSP-2 was released due to its high dry matter content, high root yield and resistance to sweet potato virus disease (SPVD).