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NASC, Stakeholders to enhance seed needs

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By Okunloye Abiodun

Accessibility to essential seeds will boost food production in the country.

Nigeria’s endeavour to boost food production by ensuring accessibility to essential seeds is receiving renewed focus as the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) announces its intentions to revamp strategies and prioritise their availability. In Abuja, at the recently concluded SeedConnect Africa Conference and Expo 6th edition, Dr. Ishiaku Khalid, the Acting Director General of NASC, disclosed the Council’s intention to organise a national seed conference. Its purpose would be to assemble various stakeholders and devise strategies for the upcoming 2024 planting season, aiming to fulfil the country’s demands on a national scale.

According to him, the emphasis of the 2023 SeedConnect event is centred around addressing the Global declaration of Food Emergency with a particular focus on the significant contribution of Africa’s Seed Sector. Their objective is to establish a sustainable food system that guarantees widespread availability of healthy and reasonably priced food in the present as well as in the times ahead. Additionally, he mentioned that NASC is effectively utilising Licensed Seed inspectors to attain a streamlined and effective low-level certification process, ultimately promoting inclusivity.

Industry development capacity will be prioritised with the OECD membership.

He added that Mr. President’s aim to ensure that farmers have access to high-quality seeds is being actively pursued by the Seed Council. They are employing all their resources to ensure efficient seed certification, surveillance, and the eradication of adulterated seeds. Additionally, they are prioritising the development of industry capacity, especially by utilising the OECD membership of the NASC. Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, urged for the reorganisation of the Nigerian seed sector, emphasising the importance of permitting only committed companies to operate within the framework.

Expressing his concern over the functioning of the companies, he voiced his desire for a thorough examination. In his view, these companies are lacking in optimal and efficient operations. Abdullahi suggests implementing a well-established community system to address the issue of farmers’ access to improved seed. This solution could solve the problem of acceptance by providing a legal structure for community seed producers. By doing so, they can cater to the farmers residing in remote areas of the country, which were previously overlooked.

The industry is yet to function optimally and efficiently.

Currently, there are 440 seed companies, holding about 110,000 Mt of seed. However, this translates to a meagre average of merely 250 Mt per company. Clearly, the seed industry is far from functioning in an optimal and efficient manner. It is imperative that industry players unite their efforts to rethink and reorganise their operational strategies in order to align with global demands regarding capacity, operations, and business structure. In order to guarantee the system’s efficiency, he proposes a reformulation of the seed industry where exclusively reputable companies are authorised to operate.

Also, the impending launch of the National Agricultural Development Fund is of utmost importance in the financial space. Its primary objective is to bolster production, enhance critical infrastructures, and extend financial assistance to farmers. This short-term agenda will also involve substantial attention and assistance in revamping the Bank of Agriculture and Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation. The aim is to align their operations with the evolving requirements of their customers through the application of digital solutions, as stated by the speaker.

Collaboration with the Netherlands will also advance the economy.

Lastly, Wouter Plomp, who is the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, expressed how the relationship between the Netherlands and Nigeria, known as the Netherlands – Nigeria Seed Partnership, has been immensely influential in the growth of Nigeria’s seed industry. This alliance stands as a prime example of a successful collaboration founded upon the sharing of knowledge, mutual benefits, and the progression of Nigeria’s seed sector through the exchange of expertise, cutting-edge technology, and implementation of best practices.


Related Links

NASC: Website


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AN-Toni
Editor
2 months ago

NASC, Stakeholders to enhance seed needs. – Accessibility to essential seeds will boost food production in the country. – Express your point of view.

Kazeem1
Member
2 months ago

The collaboration between stakeholders and the National Agricultural Seeds Council to tackle this necessity is commendable. We can increase food security, raise crop yields, and advance agricultural development as a whole by making sure farmers have access to high-quality seeds.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
2 months ago

That’s great news! Enhancing seed needs and improving accessibility to essential seeds can indeed have a significant impact on food production in the country. Seeds are the foundation of agriculture, and having access to high-quality seeds is crucial for farmers to achieve better yields and improve food security.
By ensuring that farmers have easy access to a variety of quality seeds, we can promote crop diversity, increase productivity, and enhance the resilience of our agricultural systems. This is especially important considering the challenges we face, such as climate change and population growth.
Additionally, supporting stakeholders in the seed industry can lead to innovation, research, and development of new seed varieties that are better adapted to local conditions. This can contribute to the overall improvement of agricultural practices and the sustainability of our food production systems.
It’s encouraging to see the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) and other stakeholders recognizing the importance of enhancing seed needs. Collaborative efforts between government institutions, seed producers, researchers, and farmers are key to achieving a more robust and sustainable agricultural sector.
With increased accessibility to essential seeds, we can foster agricultural growth, improve food self-sufficiency, and contribute to the overall development of our country. Let’s continue to support initiatives that prioritize the availability and affordability of quality seeds for our farmers.

Taiwo
Member
2 months ago

NASC and Stakeholders to improve seed requirements. Making key seeds accessible will increase the nation’s food production.We can encourage crop diversity, boost productivity, and strengthen an ability of our agricultural systems by making sure farmers have easy access to a range of high-quality seeds.We need good seeds to grow in order for the nation to produce decent, normal food. If farmers handle high-quality seeds, their crops will be better and food output will increase. bolster the food supply