The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Chief Uche Geoffrey Nnaji has said that the commercial release of Tela Maize and other crops in the country is poised to revolutionize our agricultural productivity and fortify the country’s food security.
According to the Minister, on 11th January 2024, the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds and Fisheries, approved the commercial release of Tela Maize along with other high yielding crop varieties at its 33rd National meeting Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology ( NACGRAB) in Ibadan.
Chief Nnaji said this at the Press Briefing on the commercial release of Tela Maize at the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) today in Abuja.
He stated that the commercial release of the crops exemplifies the Ministry’s commitment towards harnessing the power of biotechnology to address pressing agricultural challenges, enhance crop resilience as well as improve the livelihoods of the farmers and citizens of the country.
Nnaji emphasized that Tela Maize is transgenic drought tolerant and insect protected maize varieties that will enhance food security in sub Saharan Africa, adding that
the release of the crops will also increase crop yield, enhance resilience to pest and disease, reduce environmental impact and improve nutritional content for health benefits of the citizenry of the country.
To this end, the Minister urged all stakeholders, farmers, extension workers and private sector partners to embrace the new crop varieties for a more prosperous, sustainable and food secured future for Nigerians.
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Esuabana Nko- Asanye said that the commercial release of Tela Maize will advance one of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda which is poverty alleviation and food security for the Nigerian populace.
She further said that our farmers will not be able to enjoy this new research out put that the Ministry has been able to discover without addressing the issue of insecurity in the country which is a great hindrance to farming and agricultural sector.
Earlier, the Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) Dr. Abdullahi Mustapha, said that the Agency will not relent in its efforts towards the technological development of the nation especially in the area of food security.
He asserted that with the commercial release of Tela Maize, farmers acceptability will be hundred percent assured.