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By Bashir Bello, KANO

An agriculturist and Managing Director of Seedco company (hybrid seeds developer), Kolade Dada said it coy is working assiduously to bridge the gap that exists in Nigeria’s maize demand deficit and also to ensure food security in the country.

Experts currently said Nigeria’s maize demand deficit stands at 4 million tons.

Speaking during a field day to introduce a seed tagged SC 649 to farmers in Kano, Dada stressed the need for the farmer to embrace the product which he said has numerous potentials in order to record bumper harvest and change the narratives.

The Managing Director represented by his Sales Manager, Junaidu Mukhtar said, “Like you all rightly know, our land is not expanding in size as it remains the same. Instead, we are increasing in population size. So we have to develop hybrids and climate-smart seeds to withstand drought and resistance to Maize Streak Virus, MSV as well as increases our agricultural produce in order to meet the demand.

“The SC 649 maize has numerous potentials. Under good agronomy practices, one can get eight to ten tons per hectare with 25kg seeds when compared to the average yield of a farmer who uses the regular Open Pollinated Variety, OPV who gets three tons per hectare. Again, SC 649 takes about 100 to 110 days for maturity.

“So with Seedco providing variety that can give up to eight to ten tons, per ton represents 10 bags of 100kg, so for eight to ten tons it means 80 to 100 bags. It is something that can help reduce the demand deficit for maize. It will close that gap because it means more tons per hectare and more maize for the populace. And by that, we address food security.

“We also have another variety of seed, SC 419 in the pipeline.

“The take-home message is for the farmers to see the potentials of SC 649. The cobs were already open for them to see physically how big it is. And that will also give the idea of the possible output and tons they would be able to harvest depending on how many kg of the seed they plant. Aside from Maize, we are also into Soya Beans and rice,” Dada however stated.

On his part, a retired civil servant now farmer, Auwal Maidabino called on the government at all levels to key into the project and partner with the company to provide the variety in large quantity to the farmers in order to achieve the present administration’s vision of addressing food shortage in the country.

“As you can see for yourself, the maize farm is in good condition and in my hands are samples of the cobs produced which is far better than what we used to have in the past.

“You have to put together 3 cobs of the normal maize before you can get 1 cob of that of Seed Co and I recommend other farmers to give it a try. In fact, I call on the government at all levels and relevant authorities to partner with the coy to make the seeds available to the farmers in order to achieve the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to address food shortage,” Maidabino said.

Earlier, the Lead farmer, Mustapha Maska told the gathering that after planting the variety he is optimistic to have a bumper harvest.

“I’ve spent 30 years farming. I’ve never used the Seedco seed, this is the first time. This year is a year I will never forget because I am optimistic about the bumper harvest.

“I planted two hectares of this seed and I’m hoping to harvest 80 bags per hectare compared to before that I harvest 50 bags. This variety of seed takes 100 to 110 days before harvest compare to that we use in the past which takes 120 to 130 days,” Maska however stated.

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