IITA releases Vitamin A-enriched Maize in Nigeria
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has released two new maize varieties in Nigeria that contain high levels of beta-carotene – the precursor of vitamin A – offering hope against the menace of vitamin A deficiency which plagues millions of people in the country.
The hybrids, which are the first generation provitamin A-rich maize, were released on July 4, 2012 by Nigeria's National Variety Release Committee as Ife maizehyb 3 and Ife maizehyb 4. They are recognized as IITA hybrids A0905-28 and A0905-32, respectively.
According to Dr. Abebe Menkir, IITA's maize breeder, the hybrids are product of nearly a decade of targeted breeding for enhanced level of provitamin A. He added that apart from being nutritious, the maize hybrids are also high yielding, producing 6 to 9 tons of the crop per hectare. In Nigeria, local maize varieties commonly grown by farmers produce only about 2 tons per hectare.
See CGIAR's news release at http://www.cgiar.org/consortium-news/vitamin-a-maize-released-nigeria/.
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)