Head of Programme
CURRENT RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
- Release of Low Nitrogen Tolerant Yellow and White Hybrid maize to reduce cost of input and enhance higher yield per hectare.
- Development of new maize varieties, establishment of more eco-friendly strategies for field and post-harvest safety of produce and germplasm to combat the challenges of climate change and resource-poor farmers in order to improve their livelihood and level of productivity.
- Train relevant stakeholders in maize production with a view to getting greater yields with minimal inputs in their challenging conditions/situations of production.
- Collaborate with relevant stakeholders nationally and internationally for better productivity and improved livelihood of maize growers.
Maize Improvement Programme for Southern Ecologies, IAR&T has the mandate for genetic improvement of maize with resistance to pest and diseases (Streak Virus, Armyworm, Stem borers) and other constraints to its high productivity in the Southern agro ecologies. The programme also collaborates with other National and International Agricultural Research Institutes, to ensure great benefits to farmers in the zone. Our continuous agricultural research into the development and release of new improved maize varieties for better production cannot be overemphasized, especially with the new biotic and abiotic challenges as impacts of climate change on food security in Nigeria. The programme research focus areas are:
- Crop Improvement
- Crop Protection
- Crop Utilization (value addition for End-users)
- Economics and information dissemination
The primary aim of the programme is the genetic improvement of maize, and to successfully tackle the challenges of low yield, susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses through development of improved, stress-resistant and adaptable maize varieties for increased production and better livelihood of farmers. The positive impact of the development of Quality Protein and Pro vitamin A maize varieties, on the nutrition, health and wealth of the South-Wmest people who use maize as a staple food in various processed forms is one of the laudable achievement of the programme.
The release of improved varieties is part of the Institute’s determination to support the Federal Government in the CHANGE AGENDA in transforming agriculture so as to ensure food security in the country.
The programme has worked on several research activities such as breeding for low N tolerant hybrid maize varieties for yield and adaptation to SW and SE agro-ecologies, identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) involved in combine resistance of maize to the pink stem borer, Sesamia calamistis and sugarcane borer, Eldana saccharina, storage potentials of newly developed single cross low N tolerant yellow hybrids maize, resistance of some selected maize genotypes to stem borers infestation, breeding for weevil-resistant and forest adaptable hybrid maize. Presently, working is on-going on development of eco-friendly packages for the control of armyworm.
The services rendered by the programme include; training on Crop Production and Protection, Maize breeding and Management, and Production of Breeder and Foundation seeds. It also organizes Farmers’ field days for participatory selection of maize varieties by farmers, and conduct Field days and field visits for effective monitoring of technologies generated and disseminated to farmers.
The programme has partnered in various capacities with AGRA, Gromor-Monsanto, SARD-SC, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, West African Agricultural Productivity Programme, WAAPP.
Our recent activities include:
- Studies on resurgence of Maize streak and stripe diseases in Southwest, Nigeria towards the development of its control strategies
- Survey on the outbreak of Lepidoptera pest on maize plants in SW Nigeria
- Alternative control options for maize insect pests
- The study on the roles of biological insecticide in controlling the Lepidoptera pests on maize plants
- Selection of white and yellow low nitrogen tolerant maize varieties adaptable to SW Nigeria
- Evaluation of low N tolerant and high carotene hybrid maize for resistance to fungal diseases
- Performance of high carotene maize inbred lines as predictors of hybrid performance in seed quality test
- Assessment of resistance and growth response of some selected maize genotypes to stemborers infestation
- Effects of partial detasseling and double plant density on grain yield of maize
- Seed dropping exercise for farmers in Oyo state (Diffusion of quality seeds of improved maize varieties for farmers in the Southern agro-ecologies of Nigeria).
- Training of farmers on profitable maize production under climate change and other constraints in SW Nigeria.
- Promoting Agricultural Information dissemination on maize production among farmers in South West Nigeria using conventional media.
- Identification of microorganisms and plant samples for maize diseases control
- Formulation of ecofriendly coating methods for the control of seed-borne diseases of maize
The institute through various research efforts and collaborations with other institutions had developed and released 12 maize varieties from 2012 to 2016; to mention the recent ones. The varieties are Ife Maize hyb-1, Ife Maize hyb-2, Ife Maize hyb-3- (Yellow Hybrid maize), Ife Maize hyb-4, Ife Maize hyb -5 (Extra early maturing hybrid maize), Ife Maize hyb – 6, BR 9943 DMR, BR 9928 DMR, ILE 1– OB (Mayowa), ART-98-SW6-OB (Faralokun), Ife Maize hyb-07 and Ife Maize hyb-08.