- Set up National Executive Steering Committee For Implementation
- Tasks stakeholders to support the initiative
- Promises to support local farmers with all varieties both locally and internationally
In a consistent bid to provide farmers with great quality and varieties of seeds, the National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, amongst others, on Tuesday, launched Institutionalizing Monitoring of Crop Variety Adoption Using Genotyping programme, IMAGE in Nigeria.
According to findings, the five year programme supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Context Global Development will be implemented in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia to aid farmers in their process.
In his remark, the Director General Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, disclosed that the IMAGE programme was set up with the aim of establishing, institutionalizing and scaling routine monitoring of improved variety adoption and turnover using genotyping.
Ojo explained that the programme would provide useful insights and path towards understanding the adoption pattern and measure towards accurate and targeted policy formulation regarding the utilisation of seeds in Nigeria.
He 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.
“You would agree with me, that misidentification of seed varieties or type could have several implications for both adoption of improved technology, for planting, for Policy formulation for food security and also for regulatory activities.” he added.
The DG further thanked the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, for supporting the efforts of the council, reiterating that the programme will provide useful insights and path towards accurately understanding the adoption pattern and use of the various seeds of improved variety and also help in no small measure towards accurate and targeted policy formulation regarding the utilization of seeds in Nigeria.
He however tasked all critical stakeholders to participate in the process to support the initiative to develop a system to effectively and accurately track farmers’ adoption of improved varieties and how varieties turn over through time using DNA finger printing.