Four new climate smart potato varieties released in Nigeria to boost seed security and resilience


22 June 2023 – The Nigeria Potato Seed Security Partnership (NPSSP), a project funded by GIZ Nigeria has successfully introduced four new late blight-resistant and climate-smart potato varieties to Nigeria. This will enhance local capacity within the public and private sectors to ensure an adequate supply of high-quality seed potato that meets market demands and is adapted to local conditions.

The NPSSP project, in collaboration with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and Fruit and Veggies Global Ltd., has released four exceptional potato varieties: Unica (CIP392797.22), Juriya (CIP393371.157), Babban (CIP393371.58), and Kyau (CIP398190.200). On June 22, 2023, Nigeria’s National Variety Release Committee granted official approval for the registration and release of these varieties.

“These new potato varieties are characterized by their high yields, robust disease resistance, and heat tolerance, making them ideal for farmers in Nigeria,” said Dr. Egesi, Executive Director of NRCRI Nigeria. “The releases mark a significant milestone as they are the first varieties to be introduced in Nigeria in over a decade, incorporating modernized breeding technologies supported by the CIP breeding program and the national program of Nigeria. They also offer excellent taste, multipurpose uses, and nutrition, catering to the preferences of local consumers and various market segments.”

Nigeria relies on potato cultivation as a vital cash crop, primarily concentrated in the higher-elevation Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau State. However, the current potato yields of 3-4 tons per hectare fall short of meeting the growing demand in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted seed imports from Europe, which historically only provided a fraction of Nigeria’s seed requirements. As a result, import consignments were canceled, necessitating the development of local seed production for enhanced seed security.

“The release of these four open-access public varieties represents a significant step towards strengthening the domestic seed system and variety development in Nigeria,” said Dr. Kalpana Sharma, CIP Senior Scientist. “Now the local potato industry can enhance resilience in the face of future challenges, whether they are natural, political, or economic and greatly benefit Nigerian potato growers and their families, ensuring a sustainable and thriving potato sector in the country.”

This activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR’s SeedQual Initiative, with funding support provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) under agreement numbers 81262532 and 81262213.

For further information contact

Viviana Infantas, Events and Outreach Specialist, International Potato Center

About CIP

CIP was founded in 1971 as a research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweetpotato and Andean roots and tubers. It delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems. Headquartered in Lima, Peru, CIP has a research presence in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land and water systems in a climate crisis. Its research is carried out by CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.