As preparation begins for the 2019 farming season, officials of the National Agricultural Seed Council ( NASC) on Thursday to the streets of Abuja on an awareness campaign on the importance of using improved seeds this year.
NASC has continued to cry for the use of quality seeds in the Nigerian agricultural sector for better yield in crop production across the country.
Speaking during the event, the Director-General of NASC, Philip Ojo, said the march was to create further awareness on the need for farmers to patronise quality seed for bumper food production,
He said the farmers were patronising fake seed merchants who sell them fake seeds that endanger their business.
Mr Ojo warned the fake seed peddlers to desist from further sale of adulterated seed as the effects are huge.
“We are trying to ensure that the seed industry is very strong, that is why we are creating this awareness,” he said
The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) was established in December 2007 as an agency of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in line with the provisions of the National Agricultural Seeds Act No. 72 of 1992.
NASC is charged with the overall development and regulation of the national seed industry.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development(FMARD), Audu Ogbeh, said farmers need to key into the use of quality seeds to avoid recording loss during harvest.
“It is important that farmers shun the use of poor seeds, they should get them from certified vendors and we can assure them of good produce,” he said
“We are sounding a note of warning to those using adulterated seeds,” Mr Ogbeh said
Speaking through the Director of Cooperative in the ministry, Quadri Olalekan, the minister said the ministry will do everything possible to make sure that the perpetrators of fake seed will face the law if caught as stated in the seed law yet to be passed.
The Country Director of Open Forum for Agricultural Bio-Technology (OFAB), Rose Gidado, said it is necessary for farmers to adopt the use of improved technology to ensure increased production.
She said farmers buy quality seeds from recognised seed merchants so that they will not only grow for business but to also consume in their household.
Ms Gidado said farmers can only prosper if they record bumper harvest through the use of technology.
“I implore that the use of improved facilities and technology be used by the seed merchants to encourage the farmers to produce more to meet up human consumption,” she said.