Minister of Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, has said the new maize variety, ‘Tela maize’, will save the country over $268 million it loses to fall army worm annually.
Nnaji noted Nigeria will save foreign exchange in importing over 400,000 metric tonnes of maize yearly.
The minister who spoke in Abuja during a visit to the demonstration site of Tela maize said, besides the new variety, Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) cowpea and Bt cotton exemplifies innovation.
He noted the new bean variety heralds a huge 20 percent yield hike per hectare, equivalent to an annual economic boom of N48 billion.
He said the feats achieved in Tela maize, PBR cowpea and Bt cotton are scientific milestones which shows resilience and determination.
”This drought-resistance, resilient-on-pests, innovative maize specie is a game changer. Beyond reduced reliance on chemicals, the economic implications are huge.
”This innovation will counteract annual fall armyworm induced losses exceeding $268 million. It will save Nigeria foreign exchange in importation of over 400,000 metric tonnes of maize annually.
“With the discoveries, Nigeria is among nations using science and technology to solve its challenges especially in agriculture”, he said.