100,000 tons of Certified Seeds Available for Farmers – NASC
The Director General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, has revealed that despite the covid pandemic in 2020, the Council was still able to sustain production of over 100,000 tons certified seeds.
Dr. Ojo disclosed this while addressing journalists on Friday at the Council’s headquarters in Sheda, Abuja, that seeds companies under the agency’s supervision have 100,023.53 metric tons of certified seeds which include rice, maize, sorghum, soyabean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame and potato.
The Director General explained that; “Buying and planting these good seeds will ensure that farmers get better yield during this trying period. Our call to farmers is that only seeds affixed with the NASC SEEDCODEX Tags fall under this category and it should be what they should buy from the shelves of their seed suppliers. The SEEDCODEX tags as you are aware is the output of the NASC electronic seed verification and authentication system that enhances the efficiency of our seed certification and quality assurance scheme which we put in place to prevent seed adulteration by unscrupulous seed merchants,”
The NASC boss said that the Council in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Assembly and other relevant stakeholders are working to ensure the timely passage of the Plant Variety Protection Bill.
The DG, talking on the activities of the council for the 2021, explained that; “We will enhance our Seed Surveillance and compliance activities to ensure only improved certify seeds are sold to farmers. This we have already started as our team just this week returned from Osun state. Our message here to all fake seed operators is that we are just around the corner to stop their nefarious act.
“This year we are coming with a new innovation to track adoption of varieties in the country. With the support of BMGF we will join Ethiopia and Tanzania to make effort towards institutionalizing the monitoring of varietal adoption, turnover and performance using genotyping (DNA Finger-Printing) to trace effectiveness of varieties released and adopted by farmers.
“Digitalization of NASC activities. As technology is very important, we will this year conclude effort to digitize all activities of the agencies of government.
“We will continue to develop crop descriptors to support our field staffs and other stakeholders in the identification of the Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability traits of both released varieties and other varieties of common knowledge which will further help our seed sector development,” he added.
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