Seed council, IITA agree to improve yam varieties

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The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), has established a functional, scalable and sustainable seeds system for improved yam varieties in Nigeria.

Ebiarede Zidafamor, the NASC Director, Seed Coordination and Management Services, who disclosed this in Abuja said this was made possible under the Phase Two of the Yam Improvement for Incomes and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA-II) project.

Zidafamor spoke during a workshop on Revised Standards for Seed Yam Quality Assurance and Seed Certification: Consultation and Validation.

This was to aid the inspection and certification of seed yam in Ghana and Nigeria in September, 2013.

“The yamQMP aligns with the regulatory procedures of Nigeria for foundation seed, FS which is referred to as basic seed in ECOWAS guidelines and certified seed production, CS,’’ he said.

He said that Breeder Seed (BS) also referred to as pre-basic seed in ECOWAS guidelines were newly established based on ECOWAS standards.

In addition, symptom severity was considered for establishing minimum thresholds for pests and diseases for Breeder, Foundation and Certified Seeds production,’’ he said.

The project coordinator said that since then, the seed yam production had changed significantly with the advent of new seed yam propagation methods such as Temporary Immersion Bioreactor System (TIBS).

Other propagation methods mentioned by Zidafamor were the Aeronoponics System, AS, Hydroponics, Vivipack, Sandponics and Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponics, SAH.

According to him, the new propagation technologies led to new business models for seed yam quality assurance and seed certification standards.

Dr Olusegun Ojo, the Director-General of the NASC tasked all stakeholders and seed companies present on sustainability of the project.

The project must be sustained whether we have partners or not, this project must be taken to the next level,” he said.