Following the severe damages often caused by flood to the existing rice varieties, the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) yesterday called on Nigerian farmers to adopt the new flood tolerant rice varieties to address yield losses.
The innovative FARO 66 and 67 are improved varieties earlier released in 2017 by the Africa Rice and are suitable for planting in flood prone rice growing zones in Nigeria with potential to yield up to 80 and 10 times higher than their parent varieties.
Additionally, the varieties have been breed to withstand water submerge, reach maturity within 120-125 days with yield capacity of 6.6 and 6.7 tonnes per hectares respectively and are resistance to stem borers, bacteria leaf blight and African rice gall midge disease.
Their development came with technical support from the Korea-Africa Agriculture and Food Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) currently running in 16 other African countries.
At a Mini Farmers’ Field Day to showcase the innovation and breakthrough of the varieties to farmers in Sheda, Kwali area council yesterday, NASC director-general, Dr Olusegun Phillip Ojo said the only possible solution to tackle crop yields losses due to flooding remains the use of flood-tolerant varieties.
He said, “Over time, we have continued to witness the severe impact of flooding on rice production in the country, we are experiencing even more severe flooding situation, our environment is changing, the impact of global warming is being felt, the rainfall pattern is becoming difficult to predict, even for the experts and flooding is becoming a more re-occurrent even.
Most of the popular rice varieties get severely damaged or killed within a week of severe flooding…these varieties have shown superior yield potential when compared to their parents”.
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