Lagos State Government has given a tonne of Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR) – Y (Yellow) hybrid maize seedlings to 650 farmers as palliative measures for the ongoing planting season. The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed this in Lagos today, explaining that the donation to farmers was part of the State Government’s efforts at dealing with the problem of shortage of food caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. According to him, maize being one of the most useful cereal crops in West Africa, is an important source of carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B and minerals, and is known to digest very quickly. The Commissioner stressed that maize is very simple to cultivate and easy to maintain, especially the Downy Mildew Resistant (DMR) and Leaf Streak Resistant (LSR) – Y (Yellow) hybrid, which has a maturing window of 75 days. Lawal averred that apart from the early maturity benefit of the DMR-LSR-Y hybrid maize, it is also resistant to leaf defoliation and cob diseases; requires a minimal amount of fertilizer dosage; is highly resistant to maize streak which affects the seedlings at maturity and nutritional to the human body. In his words, “With all these qualities, there will be a better and higher yield than what farmers had been harvesting, thus culminating in more profit. The effect is that the farmers have seeds to plant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic where they’ve been finding it difficult to get good seeds and inputs”. “Also, the seeds are hybrid, which means that they can multiply it for late maize and next year’s planting seasons. Hybrid maize usually generates high yields, increased value and reduced production costs. The plants are bigger, stronger and more vigorous”, the Commissioner asserted. Lawal emphasised that, in view of the importance of maize farming in Nigeria, efforts are continuously geared towards increasing maize farming yield per unit area of land and also extending it to various areas, especially the cultivation of dry soil improved through irrigation.