The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Kaduna State in collaboration with the Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), has developed a genetically-modified maize (TELA Maize), which will save Nigerian farmers’ economic losses from insect pests and drought up to N9 billion ($24 million). The Communication Officer, Publications and Information unit of the institute, Yakubu Dodo, quoted the Executive Director of IAR, Prof. Mohammad Ishiyaku, as disclosing this piece of information, during a tour of TELA Maize Hybrids evaluation for resistance, to stem borers and fall army worm on-station field trial under irrigation, at the Institute for Agricultural Research Station, Minjibir, Kano State.
According to the statement, Ishiyaku noted that the giant strides recorded by the TELA Maize Project in developing a climate-resilient variety that is drought tolerant and resistant, to stem boring insects-the stemborer and fall army worm by contribution to solving farmers’ needs and improving the economy. He said the level of tolerance to drought and resistance to insect boring pests was not in doubt. The Principal Investigator, TELA Maize Nigeria, Prof. Rabiu Adamu, informed that the trial started in Nigeria in 2019, to mitigate the challenges of fall army worm and stemborers as well as drought capable of reducing farmers yield by 80 percent, if not appropriately managed and that with the advent of TELA Maize, farmers would reduce the use of pesticides on maize to the barest minimum by ensuring a safer environment and healthy populace.