Best Hybrid Maize Seeds…
Maize is a widely consumed staple cereal in Africa and worldwide, known for its high protein and dietary fiber content. However, rural African farmers have faced challenges in accessing improved farming technologies, pest-resistant seeds, and proper agronomic practices to maximize the economic potential of maize.
To combat global food shortages, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) conducted a study to provide breeders with more information on the nutritional composition of 25 maize hybrids. The study, led by Oladeji Alamu, a Food Science and Technology Scientist, investigated the effect of factors such as genotype, location, and planting season on maize production.
The study found that planting environment and season significantly affect the proximate composition and Metabolizable Energy (ME) of 14 maize hybrids, with moisture content and ME not differing significantly based on environmental conditions. The study also revealed that the planting environment had a greater impact on maize quality traits such as carbohydrates, protein, and ash content compared to genotype.
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As part of validating the study results, Alamu identified three maize hybrids – LY1501, LY100-18, and LY1501 – that are rich in protein, ME, and total carbohydrates. The study recommends these maize hybrids for breeders to produce consumer-preferred maize-based food products for household and industrial purposes, which will contribute to agricultural growth and improve rural farmers’ livelihoods through increased production and access to improved seeds.
The study’s findings have significant implications for improving the economic value of maize production and increasing food security in rural areas. By providing breeders with this information, they can develop maize hybrids that are nutritionally rich, adaptable to various planting environments, and resilient to pests and diseases, improving the crop’s yield and profitability.
Additionally, the study highlights the importance of sustainable agricultural practices and the need to invest in research and development to promote food security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.
Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the nutritional composition of maize hybrids and the impact of environmental conditions on their growth, which will help improve the livelihoods of rural farmers in Africa and beyond.
Credit: Anita Akinyomade