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Commercial Release Of TELA Maize, Other High-Yielding Crops To Spark Agric Revolution – Nnaji

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The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji declared that the commercial release of Tela Maize and other high-yielding crops in Nigeria could transform agricultural productivity and bolster the nation’s food security.

Nnaji made this announcement during a press briefing at the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Abuja, where he emphasised the pivotal role of the commercial release in addressing pressing agricultural challenges, enhancing crop resilience and improving the livelihoods of farmers and citizens.

The minister highlighted that Tela Maize is a transgenic, drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize variety designed to thrive in challenging climatic conditions. Its commercial release is expected to enhance food security in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing crop yield, bolstering resilience to pests and diseases, reducing environmental impact and improving nutritional content for the health benefit of the populace.

On January 11, 2024, the National Committee on Naming, Registration, and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds and Fisheries (NCNRRCVLF) approved the commercial release of Tela Maize and other high-yielding crop varieties at its 33rd National meeting held at the Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) in Ibadan.

The minister urged all stakeholders, including farmers, extension workers, and private sector partners, to embrace these new crop varieties for a more prosperous, sustainable, and food-secured future for Nigerians.

The permanent secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Esuabana Nko-Asanye emphasised that the commercial release of Tela Maize aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, particularly focusing on poverty alleviation and food security for the Nigerian populace. She underscored the need to address insecurity in the country, which poses a significant hindrance to farming and the agricultural sector.

A statement by the ministry’s deputy director, press and public relations, Atuora Obed said in support of the technological development of the nation, the director-general of NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha affirmed the agency’s unwavering commitment to food security. He expressed confidence that with the commercial release of Tela Maize, farmers’ acceptability would be assured, marking a crucial step toward transforming Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.

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