Crop Biotech Update

Nigeria Starts National Performance Trials for TELA Maize

April 13, 2022
Photo Source: AATF/TELA Maize Project

Nigeria will start the national performance trials for drought tolerant and insect resistant maize known as TELA. This is a huge step for farmers towards better pest resistance and productivity.

TELA maize, which exhibits resistance to fall armyworm, stem borers, and tolerates moderate drought, was developed by researchers at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University. The name was derived from the Latin word tutela, which means protection. TELA maize underwent confined field trials and received environmental approval for evaluation and open cultivation from the government of Nigeria on October 8, 2021.

The national performance trials will involve 180 randomly chosen farmers from 10 states with varied agro-ecological conditions. The trials aim to confirm the efficacy of the technology and show the adaptability of the variety. The results of the trials will also be used in the application for commercial approval of TELA maize. To date, Nigeria has approved GM cotton and cowpea, and TELA is the first maize variety that is drawing close to adoption. TELA maize is already adopted by farmers in South Africa.

Read more from AATF and Alliance for Science.

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