National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Nigeria’s seed regulator in the agriculture sector, in collaboration with mPedigree Network Nigeria, has introduced an innovative platform for electronic quality verification of seeds and planting materials in Nigeria.
NASC while selecting mPedigree as its strategic innovation partner to deploy its Ovasight technology to advance the program, said it would ensure digital surveillance of the national seeds supply system, adding that farmers will be able to verify the certification status of seed packets they purchase from agro-dealers from June 2019.
Speaking while signing an agreement with mPedigree, the Director General of Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council, Dr Philip Ojo said the electronic verification would enhance security features that will make it impossible for the faking of any seed certified by the NASC.
According to him, “This will mean that in the next few months, we will just like in the pharmaceutical industry introduce a turnkey electronic seed certification system with scratch card authentication.”
“The electronic seed certification system was introduced in East Africa three years ago, Kenya in particular and just some few months back other countries like Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi all in the COMESA region have initiated processes to introduce the system. mPedigree the technology giant that is behind the success of this technology globally.
He further said “We will commence the implementation of a turnkey, electronic, agro-certification program for the Nigerian seed industry, based on mpedigree’s globally proven and multi-award winning Goldkeys platform.
“The Goldkeys technology will enable quality and genuineness verification by farmers and the public through SMS, smartphone apps (with GS1 barcoding support) and web. It is also equipped with its own integrated call center desk software. For sophisticated users, blockchain verification is also available to further strengthening the resistance against sabotage. We therefore at NASC will become the first federal agency to deploy a blockchain-powered application for mass usage in West Africa.”
Also speaking, the Global Director Strategy of mPedigree Network Nigeria, Selorm Branttie expressed continuous commitment to work towards eradication of fake seeds in the country.
“We believe that the wealth of experience is also going to be used as a piggyback to ensure that Nigerian Seed certification system in going to be one of the most resilient in the world.
“We are ready to take all those steps together with NASC to ensure that in the future when they are talking about sustainable agriculture productivity in this country, the role that the National Agricultural Seeds Council had in beginning the foundation through the provision of quality certified seeds would be the bedrock of the story of success of agriculture in the whole of Nigeria”.
In his submission, the Head Corporate Affairs of the company, Chukwudi Madu said “we are looking to improve agriculture being that it is the basis for our growth, we are not going to take this responsibility lightly, the Seed Council has been doing a great job, we are only going to take this to a higher level and make much better gains for the Nigerian agricultural sector.
The data from these verifications shall complement current enforcement mechanisms and strengthen the new online seed batch approval process that is to accompany the verification system.
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