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NCRI Produces 2 Flood-resistant Rice Varieties – NCRI Executive Director

By Mohammed Baba Busu

The National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi in Niger said it had produced two flood-resistant rice varieties to mitigate the impact of the flood on the production of the commodity.

The Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Aliyu Umaru, disclosed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bida on Wednesday.

He listed the new varieties including Faro 67 and Faro 68.

Umaru said that the varieties can withstand submergence for between 2 to 3 weeks as compared to the previous varieties that normally perished after 2 to 3 days of submergence.

Dr. Aliyu Umaru

The executive director, therefore, urged farmers in the country to adopt appropriate varieties in flood-prone areas.

He said: ‘The farmers should adopt varieties that are flood-tolerant in those areas.”

Umaru recalled that the 2022 floods were devastating across the country, resulting in colossal losses to the farmers, including the institute.

The NCRI boss also called on the government to put in place water control structures in wetlands across the country.

“Such structures should be put in place in areas where flood is recurring annually and these structures are not there.

“That is why dry season farming where you have water control structures is more profitable than that of the wet season or rain-fed rice production.

“Old irrigation schemes that had become dilapidated as a result of lack of maintenance should be rehabilitated.

“Such schemes were established in the 1950s but due to climatic extremes and other human factors they are no longer able to control water,” Umaru said.

He also called for the establishment of new irrigation schemes, adding “irritated agriculture by far outweighs rain-fed one.

Umaru said: “The yields are also high, less prone to flood, while incidences of pests and diseases are also reduced.”

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