Nigeria supplying 50% of seeds in West Africa – FG - PUNCH
NOVEMBER 28, 2021
BY Okechukwu Nnodim
Nigeria currently supplies over 50 per cent of the quality seeds that are used in West Africa, the Federal Government said on Friday.
Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Mahmoud, charged Nigerian farmers to avoid the purchase of seeds that are not approved by government.
Mahmoud disclosed this in Abuja during a road walk to announce the 2021 Seed-Connect Africa Conference and Exhibition, organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council and the agriculture ministry.
The Director-General, NASC, Philip Ojo, while speaking at the function, said Nigeria had been exporting seeds in large volumes to neighbouring countries.
He said, “Nigeria supplies more than 50 per cent of quality seeds that are being used in West Africa. Other countries in West Africa are coming to learn what makes us big in seed production.
“We have got invitations from Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Gambia. Ghana will be coming with its delegation to come and study what we are doing here.”
Speaking on the essence of planting quality seeds, the agriculture minister said farmers must desist from buying unapproved seeds.
Mahmoud said, “We must adopt improved quality seeds. Planting quality seeds that have been approved by the seed council will lead to bumper harvest which will make the country food secure.
“Planting of adulterated seeds will lead to low yield which is not good for the country. Agriculture is the engine room of any economy. If you look around the world you will find out that are self sufficient countries are the best countries.
“Let’s help the ministry police those who are trying to sell bad seeds. If you see someone selling bad seeds it is your responsibility to alert the authorities. Don’t buy any seed that is not approved by the seeds council.”
In 2020, the seeds council with the support of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa introduced the NASC SeedCodex, an electronic seed authentication tag to provide farmers with quality assurance through tracking, traceability and provision of quality seeds.