Borno State Farmers have lauded the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) “Seeds of Renaissance” initiative – which was formulated to assuage the protracted food crisis in Northern Nigeria.
Farmers across state had come forward to give evidence that they were recording high yields with the new seeds distributed by the institute in 2017.
The institute said it partnership AfricaRice and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop the seeds, that have so far been lauded by many farmers.
IITA kicked-off the ongoing initiative in 2017, with the distribution of 35,930 kilogrammes of improved seeds to the Borno Government.
The seeds were distributed for free to the beneficiary farmers. The seeds, which include cowpea, soybean, millet, maize, sorghum and rice, are suitable for cultivation under the climatic conditions of the area.
To affirm the institute’s impressive efforts, a soybean farmer, Maryam Muh’d, was quoted as saying that she recorded a bountiful harvest after cultivating the improved soybean seeds.
“The seeds I used before yielded small harvests but the seeds I got from IITA yielded much bigger harvests. For instance, where I used to reap two bags of soybean before, I now get over three bags,’’ she said.
Another soybean and maize farmer, Isaiah Maduka, who said that he would like to obtain another batch of improved seeds, disclosed that he had, nonetheless, saved part of the seeds for the forthcoming planting season.
The beneficiaries acknowledged IITA’s commitment, stating that, the introduction of the seeds had improved the lives and livelihoods of farmers in the state, since many of them had lost their families and livelihoods to the Boko Haram insurgency.