Hybrid seeds can double current maize production in Nigeria – ECOBasic MD

By Stella Kabruk

Mr Brighton Karume, Managing Director, ECOBasic Seed Company, Kaduna, said Nigeria could double its maize production and achieve self-sufficiency if 50 per cent of maize farmers in the country adopted hybrid maize varieties.

Speaking during a press briefing in Kaduna on Friday, Karume said only 10 per cent of Nigerian farmers plant hybrid varieties, a situation that had made it impossible for the country to meet the national demand.

“If 50 per cent of farmers adopt and plant hybrid varieties, this singular act can double the country’s maize yield from the current two metric tons per hectare, to over four metric tons, thereby causing annual production to increase to about 20 metric tons,” he said.

According to him, ECOBasic Seed Company is poised to enhance the seed sector through the production of high quality and pure seeds.

He said that currently, over 90 per cent of the Early Generation Seed (EGS), breeder and foundation seed sourced in Nigeria, were from Research Institutions.

“However, these research institutions struggle to meet the rising demand for high-quality foundation seed from seed companies due to inadequate financial and technical support.

“These challenges have huge impact on the productivity and profitability of indigenous seed companies, which ultimately limit farmers’ access to high-quality seeds,” Karume said.

The managing director noted that closing the national maize production and demand gap required concerted efforts by players across the value chain who are capable of bridging the existing gap in early generation seeds production in Nigeria.

“At the core of this effort is the need to accelerate awareness and widespread use of improved, disease-resistant hybrid maize seed varieties, thereby boosting yield; it all starts with the right seed,” he explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ECOBasic Seed Company was established by the Africa Agriculture Technology Fund (AATF), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN).

It was established to produce and supply foundation seed of the highest quality and purity to seed companies in West Africa.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: