BY JOSEPH CHIBUEZE |
The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has delisted 103 out of the 314 seed companies in the country for failing to comply with the standards set by the council.
Director-general of NASC, Dr Phillip Olusegun Ojo disclosed this over the weekend at a press conference to review the activities of the council in 2020 and unveil the council’s strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the activities of the Nigerian Seed Industry.
He said this action was necessary to further strengthen the seed industry and ensure that only serious minded entrepreneurs with genuine seed industry vision and farmers interest have the mandate of the NASC and therefore eligible to participate in seed related activities of government, projects, donors and aid related programme.
On the performance of the council in 2020, Ojo said despite the challenges of COVID-19, the council was able to sustain national productivity of seeds.
According to him, “The seeds companies under NASC’s watch currently have in stock 100,023.53 metric tons of certified seeds of rice, maize, sorghum, soyabean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame and potato ready for planting in the coming cropping season.
“These seeds will be available for farmers to buy and plant instead of their own low quality seeds. Buying and planting these good seeds will ensure that farmers get better yield during this trying period.
“Our call to farmers is that only seeds affixed with the NASC SEEDCODEX Tags fall under this category and it should be what they should buy from the shelves of their seed suppliers.
tags as you are aware is the output of the NASC electronic seed verification and authentication system that enhances the efficiency of our seed certification and quality assurance scheme which we put in place to prevent seed adulteration by unscrupulous seed merchants.