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Maize: Panacea For Hunger In Nigeria

Amudalat Bolanle Olaniyan
Published 2015 · Biology

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Maize (Zea mays) is always preferred to other crops, and it is fast becoming an industrial crop in Sub-Saharan African countries. Nigeria has been divided into low, medium, medium to high and high maize production potential groups. Traditionally, maize was mostly grown in forest ecology in Nigeria but large scale production has moved to the savanna zone, especially the Northern Guinea savanna, where yield potential is much higher. Maize yields in Nigeria is still very low due to biotic, abiotic  agronomic factors like soil infertility, pests and diseases, drought, unavailability of improved germplasms, weeds, unremunerative prices, uncertain access to markets etc. Maize pests and diseases in Nigeria include downey mildew, rust, leaf blight, stalk and ear rots, leaf spots and maize streak virus, Striga attack, stem borers, termites, storage insects, beetle etc. Collaborative research efforts in Nigeria led to development of agronomic package for maize production for different farming systems. There are different readily-available ethnic maize dishes in Nigeria and due to lower cost and high starch contents, maize is commonly used as roughage feed for livestock, and also included in poultry feeds. Importance of maize as an easily harvested crop food with potential to mitigate food insecurity and alleviate poverty cannot be over-emphasized in the developing world.   Key words: Agronomy, ethnic foods, food insecurity, fertilizer, maize, sub-sahara Africa.
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