Nigeria approves genetically modified maize for open cultivation

Following studies at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the federal government of Nigeria has approved the development of a new maize variety known as ‘Tela maize.’ The new version is reported to be drought tolerant as well as resistant to stem borers and army worms.

This was revealed in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Communications Manager of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Alex Abutu, and the Information Officer of the IAR, Yakubu Dodo.

The agency was convinced that there are no known adverse impact to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, taking into account risk to human health. The permit, pursuant to this decision, is without prejudice to other extant legal requirement.’ 

As stated by members of the National Biosafety Management Agency’s committee (NMBA).

According to AATF Tela Maize project manager Sylvester Oikeh, the development is fantastic news and heralds a new era for farmers.

The Executive Director of IAR also expressed delight at the NBMA’s commercial approval of Tela Maize and emphasized that IAR is capable of resolving Nigeria’s food concerns.

Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Nigeria are among the seven African countries involved in the Tela Maize project. The initiative has been running since 2018 and has engaged various organizations such as the above-mentioned African countries’ national agricultural research systems, Bayer, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

According to Rabiu Adamu, the Tela Maize primary investigator, on the adaptation of the Tela hybrid and yield evaluation, the institute can move forward with multi-location studies.


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