Flour Mills, Corteva Agriscience partner on hybrid maize seed development
In pursuance of its core strategic focus of transforming the agricultural sector, to feed the nation, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has announced a strategic partnership with Corteva AgriscienceTM, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, on hybrid maize seed development.
The collaboration will see both companies working together on key aspects of the maize value chain, with a focus on promoting modern farming techniques and practices, capacity development and knowledge transfer for local production and use of improved and quality inputs, including seeds and crop protection.
According to the company’s Chairman, John Coumantaros, FMN is excited at the prospects of the partnership, and what the company can achieve from it. “Corteva AgriscienceTM is a globally renowned company with wealth of experience in crop protection and biotechnology solutions, and will introduce new and exciting seed production techniques that will help develop the maize hybrid seed market in Nigeria.
“Over the years, FMN has invested heavily in the primary processing, aggregation and distribution of locally grown grains such as maize, soybean, rice, sorghum and wheat, and are passionate about strengthening the capabilities of small-scale farmers, even as we continue to seek out newer ways of deepening our supply chain.”
On his part, Group Managing Director, FMN, Paul Gbededo said; “We are currently in the sustainability testing phase for the most viable varieties suitable for this environment and envisage that the next step will be to establish in Nigeria, a world-class hybrid maize production plant.
“Our business is ultimately about providing for the livelihood of millions of Nigerian families, by ensuring that they have access to great food, and as such, we are focused on building a business that caters for not just their nutritional needs but enriches their lives.”
Commercial Unit Director, Africa Middle East, Corteva AgriscienceTM, Prabdeep Bajwa, said the partnership endorses its company’s commitment to collaboration across the food chain to transform the role of agriculture in society and enhance the livelihood of farmers in the country.
“Our company is investing in innovation, drawing on our knowledge of genetics, chemistry and digital to give farmers in Africa more and better products and ensuring their success.”
The Guardian learnt that both companies have already started work on demonstration farm plots to showcase high-performing hybrid maize varieties with additional test sites expected to commence soon in Kwara, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo, Nassarawa, Bauchi, Plateau States and the Federal Capital Territory.
Nigeria currently has a national average maize yield of about 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare, which is significantly below the average two tons per hectare of maize yields in Africa and 10 tonnes per hectare in the U.S. Early projections indicate that the adoption of hybrid seed and use of improved farming inputs and techniques will increase maize yields by about 100 per cent in the next five years.
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