By Bobby Oshoke
The Green Agriculture West Africa LTD (GAWAL) a company partly sponsored by the China country office of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (BMGF)
has introduced 3 new high yielding rice seedlings to Nigerian farmers
representatives of the IITA, members of the NCRI, NAERES, the Agriculture and research council and so on.
Speaking during the presentation the Assistant Managing Director of the GAWAL, Mr Wang Xuemin gave a comprehensive and detailed insight into the activities of the GAWAL and how they are trying to boost rice productivity in the country through improved seedlings.
He noted that since the establishment of “GAWAL in Nigeria in 2006, the company has devoted itself to the development of Nigeria through the production and supply of quality crop seeds.
” As one of the large scale seed companies in Nigeria, we have supplied over 20,000 mt of rice and maize seeds to Nigerian farmers”
Speaking on the research breakthrough of GAWAL Mr Xuemin, noted that in 2017 the company successfully registered a high yield rice variety – GAWAL R1 in Nigeria, which outperformed all local rice varieties returning a yield of over 8 tones per hectares.
This outstanding result has ensures 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 said.
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 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”
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) , Mr. Philip Ojo. described GAWAL as an, “accredited, easily recognizable company which has upheld the standard among the companies registered in Nigeria. When it comes to capacity building, they’re one of the best, they have partnered with the NASC to capacitate some of our staff outside the company”.
He also said, “the hybrid rice seeds are well sought after in Nigeria today and the GAWAL R1 is building it’s reputation as one of the best in the market”.
Ojo noted that GAWAL was collaborating with other bodies to improve on its services as a critical step,
” We are glad to note that GAWAL as a next step would be focusing on the establishment of rice extension systems and improvement of rice research system in collaboration with various national organizations such as the National Cereal Research institute (NCRI), National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), IITA, Bwari area council and agricultural research and extension services in Nigeria, with the aim of introducing and registering many more good quality rice varieties”. He added