NASC teams-up with regional body to boost agric productivity

Ene Okwanihe, Abuja


The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has organised a workshop on analysing Agri-Input supply chains in West Africa and Sahel sub-region in Abuja, Nigeria. .

The aim is to address the challenges faced by farmers in accessing quality inputs; it brought together stakeholders to chart a way forward in access to inputs, improve agriculture productivity and attain food security for the West African region.

The Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council Dr. Philip Ojo said the workshop seeks to address challenges faced by farmers in accessing inputs and also checkmate the use of agro-chemicals.

Making quality inputs available to farmers is very fundamental and this is one of the reasons why stakeholders came together to look at the challenges and also look at how we can partner together to make quality inputs, not only seeds, fingerlings even inputs of fertilizers, particularly agro chemicals and inputs necessary for livestock available to farmers.”

Agric production

The Lead Consultant to CORAF and Professor of Aquaculture in University of Ibadan, Oyo State South-West Nigeria, Professor Bamidele Omitoyin said low agricultural productivity in the West African region can be associated with access to quality agri-inputs

The Workshop is to look at the issue of agricultural input supply in West Africa and in the Sahel. Currently, we have low productivity in the agricultural sector and the major problem that is causing this low productivity is low use of agricultural inputs; agricultural input in terms of seed in terms of livestock genetic material, in term is fertilizer, in terms of fingerlings, in terms of fish feed and other inputs that are used for agricultural productivity.”

Smart climate approach

On his part, the National Project Coordinator of West African Transformation Program (WAATP), Dr. James Apochi said his program which is at the second phase will upscale the climate change smart technologies they had generated.

We are at the preparatory stage of the second phase of WAAPP which is going to be West African Transformation Program, and what we are going to do in the new phase of the project, we are going to upscale and outscale the climate smart technologies that we have generated,” he said.

WAATP is a regional program of the ECOWAS and in the spirit of regional integration, the technology we are developing in Nigeria will also be given to other West African Countries and they send technologies to us.”