The federal government increased the number of seed entrepreneurs in the country's agricultural sector to 314 to increase farmers' access to quality seeds.
Dr. Philiph Ojo, general director of the National Council for Agricultural Seeds (NASC), told reporters in Abuja that the council council approved licenses for 158 new new seed entrepreneurs to add to the existing 156.
158 new participants include 16 small enterprises, 133 manufacturer and seller and nine dealer-seven.
"In general, the country currently has 314 seed entrepreneurs, consisting of four large-scale, seven medium, 39 small, 223 producers and 20 seed dealers," he said.
Dr. Ojo, however, stated that the board declared 21 semantics entrepreneurs inactive, adding that "this means by law that they can not participate in seed-related activities until the council re-checks and will not re-certify its facilities. "
DG, which justified the addition of more seed companies and entrepreneurs, said the decision was "confirmed by the determination to allow many qualified entrepreneurs to explore the venerable liberalized landscape of the seed industry."
At present, millions of small farmers in the country do not have access to quality seeds and seedlings – a situation that has yielded far below the world average or even compared to other African countries, such as Kenya and South Africa.
However, if these new entrants significantly increase farmers' access, much remains to be seen.
The Council, however, did not say how many seeds a new initiative will receive.
Nonetheless, the Nigerian Seed Protection Group, a coalition of farmers 'groups, which advocates improving farmers' access to quality seeds, said that adequate funding for NASC and other relevant institutions, such as research institutes, is key to ensuring the sustainability of accessibility, accessibility and availability of quality seeds for farmers.
The group suggested that the government appears to have more prejudice for fertilizer, noting that yields will not change unless there is a holistic approach to quality seeds.
With 16 research institutes working in different mandated cultures, a quality seed should not have been a problem for millions of farmers in the country, but most of these institutions are just a shadow of themselves.
Experts say that nothing will change if the country does not increase funding for research and development on the quality of seeds – what most licensed companies do not have the opportunity.