The National Cereal Institute Badeggi, Niger state is set to release a hybrid rice variety into the Nigeria market in the ongoing effort by the federal government to ensure self-sufficiency in rice production.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Aliyu Umar, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen, on Monday in Minna.
He explained that the hybrid initiative would be the latest innovations in the Institute’s many breakthroughs in agricultural research.
He explained that the yield from the hybrid rice far outweighed the open coordinated type and other known varieties currently in circulation among Nigeria, nay African farmers, saying “very soon we are going to triple the current production with the release of the hybrid side by side with other improved varieties. “
He said the Institute is adopting biotechnology as a departure from the conventional breeding techniques in response to the changing trend to boosting food production.
According to him, the Institute has been able to make significant breakthrough in the actualisation of its mandate by evolving different high-yielding rice varieties that are adaptable to all the ecology of the country with diseases and pests resistance.
“As far as we are concerned under the current dispensation, we want to move research to a higher level where the yield per a hectare that farmer gets under their field condition should be higher”, he said.
The hybrid initiative would be the second time the Institute would be releasing high yielding rice varieties into the market within the last two years.
Daily Trust recalls that two rice, FARO 66 and FARO 67 varieties and a Sugar cane variety, NCS-009, were released late last year.