A don, Prof. Tunji Iyiola-Tunji, has advocated the adoption and cultivation of flood-resistant seed varieties to curtail harvest losses due to flooding.
Iyiola-Tunji, a fellow at the National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
He said the cultivation of flood-resistant seed varieties by local farmers would mitigate losses experienced by farmers during the incidences flooding.
According to him, the country has suffered several losses occasioned by flooding especially from crops that are planted in marshy areas.
“Due to the annual flooding experienced across the country in recent times, the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), have developed flood-resistant seeds to curtail harvest losses.
“These seeds can be planted in flood-prone areas and riverbanks without fear of being damaged by the flood,” he added.
“A particular variety of flood-resistant rice can be planted and can withstand floods. After the flood has subsided these crops can bounced back and continue growing”
“Local farmers all over the country have started adopting these seed varieties and have cut down on their losses,” he said.
Iyiola-Tunji said these flood-resistant varieties were some of the remedies toward preventing crop losses due to flooding.
He also emphasised the importance of promoting the adoption of the flood-resistant seed as it would guarantee food security.
“We need to promote the adoption of the seeds by farmers to cut down on crop losses.
“At NAERLS when we did the assessment of the flood last year, we estimated about N700 billion worth of facilities and crops that were lost.
“One of our recommendations was the promotion of the adoption and cultivation of flood-resistant crops.
“If we can promote these flood-resistant seed varieties and farmers adopt them nationwide, it will reduce the losses encountered in crop cultivation during floods.
“In places like Kogi State, farmers can now plant these seed varieties without fear of crop loss during floods.
“The seed varieties are quite affordable, they are sold in the foundation form. Due to its hybrid nature farmers are not expected to replant from the harvest.
“The farmers must procure the seeds afresh yearly. They are readily available and affordable too,” Iyiola-Tunji said.