Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and is growing at a rate of about 2.7% per year (NPC, 2006).

Aside from wheat, the country has been able to meet most of its own staple food needs(FAO, 2006). The development and adoption of agricultural innovations, especially maize and cassava varieties have important roles in this process. Agriculture accounts for about 40% of GDP despite the importance of petroleum, industries, and services, and is the primary livelihood for the majority of Nigeria’s population. Agriculture remains the mainstay of the Nigerian economy despite its decline in the 1970s. Greater proportions of the population depend on the agricultural sector for their livelihood and the rural economy is still basically agricultural (Kwanashieet al, 1998).Strong agricultural research and development (R&D) is crucial for improving agricultural productivity and efficiency, which in turn will lead to agricultural development, food security, and poverty reduction. In an attempt to address these issues, several efforts have been implemented over the decades to strengthen national agricultural research systems (NARS) in numerous developing countries. These efforts have led to a series of reforms, including expansion, contraction, restructuring, downsizing, privatization, and decentralization (Byerlee and Echeverria 2002), though with mixed results. Overall, the capacity of many NARS, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, remains weak. Many development projects have sought to remove some of these constraints by introducing facilities to provide credit, information, the orderly supply of necessary and complementary inputs, infrastructure investment, marketing networks, etc. Removing these constraints was expected to result not only in the adoption of the improved practices but also change in crop composition, which was expected to increase average farm incomes even further. Maize (Zea mays), or corn is the most important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa together with rice and wheat, one of the three most important cereal crops in the world (IITA,2009). Maize is a

The development and promotion of quality protein maize (QPM). Smith et al.. . It is one of the most dominant cereal crops in the southern and northern Guinea and Sudan savannas (Onyibeet al. to the dry ecology of the Sudan savanna.. and is valuable where farmers cannot afford or obtain lysine supplements for feed (CIMMTY. the average maize yield in Africa of 1. Being photoperiod sensitive. Its genetic plasticity has made it the most widely cultivated crop in the country. it can be grown anytime of the year giving greater flexibility to fit into different cropping patterns. but also the result of improved maize yields. QPM also boosts the productivity ofmonogastric farm animals (poultry. 2006) Trends in maize production indicate a steady growth. mostly due to the expansion of cultivated area. 1997).2 tons per hectare was twice that estimated for the 1950s. Fajemish 1994. a highlysine type of maize that can improve the nutrition—particularly for women and children— in places where maize comprises the major source of protein in human diets. It is one of the major crops grown in Katsina State.major cereal and one of the most important food crops in Nigeria. from the wet evergreen climate of the forest zone. 2008). In 1989 to 1991. In West and Central Africa in the last 20 years widespread adoption of improved maize varieties in the savannas means that maize is no longer a backyard crop but a major cereal grown for both cash and food (Eckebil 1994. before improved varieties were generally available (Byerlee and Heisey 1997). swine) when used in feeds.