Story by Wellington Makonese
ZIMBABWE has adopted the Biofortified Hybrid Orange Maize seed intending to enhance nutrition and climate-resilient crop production.
The development of the Biofortified Orange Maize seed that contains several nutrients including Vitamin A is expected to boost yield and improve nutrition.
The variety is drought-tolerant, pest and disease-resistant with an expected yield of at least 10 tonnes per hectare.
“It is a good variety that has been tested and we want to give it to farmers. It has long and short varieties and the yellow maize popularly known as Kenya has the same growth period just like white maize as well. It is one way of supplementing other products. Under good conditions, it yields 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare,” said Dr John MacRobert, the managing director for Mukushi Seeds.
Traditional leaders are keen on increasing the popularity of the variety as it is a fulfilment of strategic development goals on ending hunger and stunted growth.
“This year, the African Union’s theme revolves around food security, and it is our thrust to have this new seed amongst households not just to bring food but also nutrients like zinc and iron,” said Chief Fortune Charumbira, president of the Chiefs Council.
The variety, which has since been distributed to traditional leaders, is being developed locally.