Towards the improvement of maize in Nigeria

C.L.M. van Eijnatten

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Approximately 600,000 tons of maize were produced annually in Nigeria. Maize was the main grain crop in southern Nigeria and its production in the middle belt was rapidly increasing. Most of the crop was eaten as dry grain, a little before maturity. A preference was recorded for floury varieties of maize in southern Nigeria. This preference depended on the greater yield of flour per unit weight of grain in the floury varieties over flint and dent varieties. Grain type, plant height, time to maturity and grain colour allowed distinction of four local maize types.

Some of the newly introduced maize types from Central America outyielded the local varieties by a wide margin: 1200-1500 lb per acre for the local varieties and 2500-3000 lb for the introduced ones. Once. this difference proved to be due to greater longevity of the top leaves of an introduced variety.

Information on the agronomy, distribution and utilization of maize was used to draw up aims for a Nigerian maize breeding programme. One of the aims, a yellow flint maize of medium duration, was achieved in a synthetic variety ESI through an intravarietal gametic selection for combining ability. Later observations showed that advanced-stage inbred lines from several sources should be utilized.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Wellensiek, S.J., Promotor
Award date19 May 1965
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publication statusPublished - 1965
Externally publishedYes


  • plant breeding
  • zea mays
  • maize
  • nigeria


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