IITA Offers Improved Cassava, Cowpea and Maize Seeds to Nigerian State
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has offered Jigawa state, in the north western Nigeria, improved cowpea and maize varieties, as part of efforts to help improve agriculture. The institute donated the varieties on 16 July 2012 in an effort to help the state tackle the challenge of food insecurity, create wealth and improve livelihoods. Cassava, cowpea and maize are important crops in the state.
IITA Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Capacity Building Kenton Dashiell promised officials that the institute will also be delivering improved cassava planting materials for multiplication. IITA plans to backstop the newly established state-owned cassava starch factory, link it to markets and also offer farmers improved cassava planting materials to ensure a steady supply of cassava roots to the factory. The donation of the improved planting materials comes after the governor of Jigawa, Dr. Sule Lamido, gave an open invitation to IITA, to help his government turn-around agriculture at the Institute's 45th anniversary on 6 July in Ibadan, Oyo state.
About 1000 kg of improved seeds comprising 500 kg of cowpea and 500 kg of maize will be planted across the 27 local governments of the state on demonstration plots with the support of farmers and the Jigawa State Agricultural Development Program. Seeds harvested from the demonstrations will be given to farmers ahead of the next planting season in 2013, amplifying the benefits of improved technologies to farmers in the state.
For more information, contact Godwin Atser, IITA Communication Officer, (West & Central Africa) at email@example.com.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)