- Urges farmers to buy only seeds with NASC SeedCodex tags
- Vows to ensure strategies that will strengthen the seed industry
- Reveals plans, targets for 2021
The Director- General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr Philip Ojo on Friday, revealed that despite Covid-19 pandemic, the council was able to sustain national productivity of seeds.
Ojo who made this assertion during his first media interaction for the year 2021, disclosed that the council has introduced strategic approaches, launched technologies and also stepped up surveillance and activities to ensure that farmers receive only the best seeds and nothing short of the best.
His statement reads “ I am happy to announce to you therefore that even with the pandemic in the year 2020, we were able to sustain national productivity of seeds. The seeds companies under NASC watch currently have in stock ready for planting in the coming cropping season, 100,023,53 metric tons of certified seeds of rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame and potato. The seeds will be available for farmers to buy and plant instead of their own low quality seeds.
”Our call to farmers is that only seeds affixed with the NASC SEEDCODEX Tags fall under the category and it should be what they should buy from the shelves of their seed suppliers. All farmers should note that all certified seeds pack in Nigeria must carry this authentication tags with code affixed on them for farmers to send to a dedicated number to be able to verify instantly, the authenticity of seeds purchased by them and report unscrupulous seed dealers in the national seed space to the NASC.
”In the year 2020 following the recertification of companies accredited by us, the council delisted and withdraw the operational license of one hundred and three seed entrepreneurs out of the three hundred and fourteen (314) seed enterprises in Nigeria, an action necessary to further strengthen the seed industry.” It added.
The Dg further outlined plans of the council for 2021, which includes high expectations for the passage of the plant variety protection bill currently before the National Assembly, enhancement of seed surveillance and compliance activities to ensure only certified seeds are sold to farmers, digitalization of NASC activities, introduction of new innovation to track adoption of varieties in the country.
He however thanked pressmen for their unflinching support and encouragement while enjoining Nigerians to only patronize seeds from accredited sources.