Agency calls for support in seed act implementation

Ene Okwanihe

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The National Agricultural Seed Council NASC has called on stakeholders to support the implementation of the new Seed council act 2019 in order to deliver a functional and efficient seed system to Nigerian farmers.

The Director General of the agency Dr. Philip Ojo made the call at a ‘STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SEEDS COUNCIL ACT’ organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the National Agricultural Seed Council in Abuja -Nigeria.

Dr. Ojo said with the new act in place, no one can engage in seed production,
processing, marketing or importation for commercial purpose unless the person is registered under the NASC Act.

He disclosed that Nigeria now have observer status in the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plant (UPOV) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and soon formalities will be completed to operate the OECD seed certification scheme.

Achievements

The Director General said the agency’s Cassava tracker innovation is quite commendable as the new innovation has gained international recognition.

We have successfully piloted the cassava seed tracker an award winning innovation that won the google innovative challenge 2018. As a result of the success of this app, we are about to commence introduction of the National Seed Tracker a Web-Application for real time tracking of seed production, seed trade, seed quality management and e-certification. It’s also, a platform for linking all stakeholders along the seed value chain.”

On new seed varieties Dr Ojo disclosed that the agency is working with stakeholders to introduce plant variety protection law for the benefit of farmers.

We are also working with stakeholders to push a bill on introduction of a plant variety protection law for Nigeria to ensure that our farmers have additional option of certified protected varieties to choose from for their production.”

“Our farmers today only have three out of the available seed choices available globally to pick from and we are set to ensure that the fourth and best choice is provided for willing farmers to choose from.”

He appreciated the support the agency has received in repealing and the amendment of the Seed Act.

Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria Mr. Sabo Nanono said The importance of seed in achieving a sustainable Agricultural revolution is not in doubt.

Mr. Nanono emphasised the importance of adequate funding of research institute in
generating proven varieties and a proper structured seed system to support the industry.

He said seed is a fundamental instrument to food and nutritional security in Nigeria.

As you may agree, there is no nutritional security without food security and in the same vain, there is no food security without seed security.”