The National Agricultural Seed Council( NASC) has unveiled a five-year institutional strategic plan to provide direction for the agency and revitalise the seed sub-sector of agriculture in Nigeria.
At the public presentation of the document in Abuja on Friday, the Director-General of the agency, Philp Ojo, said it aims at strengthening the capacity of the council in coordinating and regulating the Nigerian seed industry.
NASC is responsible for the regulation of seed production and distribution in the country.
Mr Ojo said without a comprehensive policy direction, the council, as the apex regulatory body at the centre of Nigeria’s seed sector, would face serious challenges in achieving its mandate.
“The workshop is focused on you to review and validate these documents and ensure that they are aligned to the Green Alternative which carries hopes and aspiration of the Nigerian farmers to take the seed sector to the next level for the better,” he said.
The representative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Dolapo Enejo, said the strategic plan document will focus on technology and digitisation to ensure that smallholder farmers were carried along.
“If you look at what is happening currently with the digitisation of the agricultural sector, you will understand that they are making a great stride in Nigeria,” she said.
“If you are looking at the Seedcodex today, reviewing and trying to validate the strategy plan, you will see that it is leveraging on technology and leveraging on digitisation to ensure that they create a globally competitive economy and to ensure that everyone is carried along; not just the medium and large scale farmers, but the smallholder is the major priority,” she said.
The Country Manager of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Kehinde Makinde, said the organisation had been offering NASC financial and technical support.
“Our work is to catalyse agricultural transformation across Africa. We work in Nigeria and other countries too. In Nigeria, the NASC is one of our partners. Our basic work is to provide support, to work together with them to deliver on improved yields for farmers, improved income and improved livelihoods.
“The partnership is sometimes in terms of funding support, and sometimes in technical support. So as part of the technical support, we have colleagues from the organisation who work with NASC on different areas of activities which they have identified in their strategic plan,” Mr Makinde said.