News Investigators/ East-West Seed, Nigeria, has unveiled new hybrid seed varieties to increase farmers’ yields in an effort to strengthen and further diversify the vegetable sector.
Business Development Manager of the seed company, Hadiza Yaro, during the product launch on Monday in Abuja, said it was aimed at improving farmers’ access to quality seeds.
Ms. Yaro said at the exhibition and seed fair, that the varieties would also strengthen marketing and distribution channels to consumer markets.
“The hybrid varieties include; tomato, pepper, pumpkin, water melon and pawpaw,’’ she said.
The business manager noted that the firm has a mission to improve the income of farmers through high quality vegetable seeds.
She said that the company’s breeders were always researching to see what was trending in the market.
Ms. Yaro said breeders also monitored complaints from farmers and what could be done to improve existing varieties to make more yields and to get good income.
“This event is to showcase the invisible work of our breeders because you discover breeders work for 30 years, yet they don’t have a single variety to launch into the market.
“Today’s outcome is hard work of about 15 years because it is not easy to come up with one hybrid,’’ she said.
Ms. Yaro noted that the company had an army of agronomists working with farmers on the field.
She said the event was to offer new innovations that would increase yield and bring new portfolios that never existed.
“We have a lot of products in the market but there are new innovative products coming into the market because of every other smallholder farmers out there.
“You discover more challenges are coming up with climate change, pests, and diseases.
‘’And if we want to depend on the old varieties, we will not be competitive because things are changing and we should change with time,” Yaro said.
Director General, Nigeria Agribusiness Group, Muazu Maigari, said that more needed to be done to make the Nigerian vegetable to be competitive.