Seed Council Launches a Program to Monitor Crop Variety Adoption
The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has partnered with other stakeholders to launch the “Institutionalizing Monitoring of Crop Variety Adoption using Genotyping Programme (IMAGE)”which covers four major crops namely maize, cassava, cowpea and rice in Abuja.
The Director General of NASC, Dr Phillip Ojo at the “Physical Launch and Constitution of the National Executive Steering Committee of the IMAGE” project said this was necessary because misidentification of seed varieties or type could have several implications for both adoption of improved technology, for planting, Policy formulation, food security and regulatory activities.
The programme which will support inclusive agricultural transformation by providing insights and evidence for seed sector actors to enhance government agencies capacity, improve stakeholder coordination, and lead to better resource allocation for varietal development and commercialization in Nigeria.
Ojo said; “Today equally marks the beginning of a new era in adoption of improved variety monitoring and reporting, the beginning of the process that will drive us through the much-needed shift from our traditional and largely inaccurate methodology for measuring farmer adoption of improved variety and how varieties turnover through time.
“Over time, studies of improved seed adoption in Nigeria are almost based on household surveys and are premised on the assumption that a farmer can accurately self-report their use of improved seed varieties.
“However, many studies have shown that farmers report of seed varieties planted, or whether the seed is improved or local are sometimes inconsistent with the DNA fingerprinting results of these varieties,” he added.
The Agricultural Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Country Representative, Dr Kehinde Makinde, said the programme will help Nigeria build a responsible seed system that will be able to respond to the needs of the farmers across the country.
Professor Garba Sharubutu, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council (ARCN), applauded the programme for seeking to build institutions instead of individuals said effort should be made to strengthen research institutions involve in the seed system.
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