By our correspondent
An Agricultural based company operating under the aegis of Green Agriculture West Africa Limited; GAWAL has reiterated its commitment to contribute to food security in Nigeria via quality and high yielding seeds.
This was disclosed by the Assistant Managing Director of the company,
Mr. Wang Xuemin at the company’s demonstration farm in Usuma, Bwari Area Council of Abuja while conducting top government officials and journalists round the farm as part of activities at the Field Meeting of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Rice Seed Project.
In a speech, Mr. Xuemin stated that the project of “Helping West African Countries Establish Rice Seed System” was sponsored by China Country Office of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and implemented by Green Agriculture West Africa Ltd (GAWAL) in Nigeria.
He said that in 2017 GAWAL successfully registered a high yield rice variety – GAWAL R1 in Nigeria, which outperforms all local rice varieties returning a yield of over 8 tons per hectare.
This outstanding result has ensured that more and more people are showing interest in GAWAL R1 “Through different channels, a growing number of Nigerian farmers and organizations are reaching us to buy GAWAL R1 rice seeds. Besides, our company also focuses on hybrid rice research.”
He noted that the event was to draw the attention of government and farmers to the successes the company has recorded in its Rice research with GAWAL R1 exchange ideas and take the opportunity to boost food security in Nigeria.
On its research activities he noted that the company is expanding.
“This year our company established four trial locations across Nigeria for the experiment and comparison of three elite rice varieties, which are Faro 44, GAWAL R1 and Mayun 1(hybrid rice variety), with one location in Abuja. Based on our yield measurement of 66 m2 for each variety in Abuja, the calculated yields per hectare of Faro 44, GAWAL R1 and Mayun 1 are 5.6 mt, 7.0 mt and 8.7 mt respectively with the transplanting method. GAWAL R1’s yield is 25% higher than that of Faro 44 and Mayun 1 is 55% higher than Faro 44”.
He said the company was also looking at the establishment of rice extension system and improvement of rice research system in collaboration with the agriculture research institutes such as National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), IITA, Bwari Area Council and agricultural research and extension services in Nigeria.
“We are aiming to introduce and register many more good quality and high-yield new rice varieties to Nigerian rice farmers”, he said.
He said that apart from the traditional rice transplanting technique, the company has also been promoting the new technique of broadcasting rice production for large and small-scale farming and the result shows that the rice yield is relatively high as well.
He said the company was a professional seed company that not only sold seed but taught farmers advanced planting techniques for optimum yield.