Following the forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) that there would be adequate rainfall patterns this year, the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has expressed readiness to boost harvest and enhance farmers’ productivity by facilitating quality planting materials.
The council disclosed that it facilitated a total of 107,959.07 metric tonnes of certified seeds of maize, rice, sorghum, cowpea, soybean, groundnut, cotton, millet beniseed, yam and sunflower in the 2019 planting season, and 30,010 bundles of cassava was produced by the seed companies and certified from 35,177.8 hectares of seed fields.
It explained that the seeds were available with the seed companies located in the 36 states of the federation. Also, there are climate smart varieties such as Faro 66 & Faro 67 developed to resist flash floods.
The council said a large number of farmers in Nigeria are still unaware of the importance of planting quality seeds as opposed to grains. “This is due to inefficient extension service delivery to farmers,” it said.
The Director General of the council, Dr Olusegun Philip Ojo, said, “On the part of the NASC, we engage in promotional activities like farmers’ field days, highway farmland demonstration of crop varieties to increase seed adoption rate, create awareness to enhance increased adoption of improved seeds and productivity among Nigerian farmers and to improve the access and availability of quality seeds in the states.”It encouraged farmers to look out for its certification tag identifying quality seeds from only recognised sources.