ABUJA- The National Agricultural Seeds Council (,NASC) has inaugurated the National Executive Steering Committee for the implementation of Institutionalising Monitoring of Crop Variety Adoption Using Genotyping(IMAGE) in Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at the Physical Launch and Constitution of the National Executive Steering Committee of the IMAGE project in Nigeria, Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, Director General of NASC, explained that IMAGE programme was set up with the aim of establishing, institutionalizing and scaling routine monitoring of improved variety adoption and turnover using genotyping.
Ojo explained that the programme would provide useful insights and path towards understanding the adoption pattern and measure towards accurate and targeted policy formulation regarding the utilisation of seeds in Nigeria.
To quote him, “Today equally marks the beginning of a new era in adoption of improved variety monitoring and reporting, the beginning of the process that will drive us through the much-needed shift from our traditional and largely inaccurate methodology for measuring farmer adoption of improved variety and how varieties turnover through time.
“Over time, studies of improved seed adoption in Nigeria are almost based on household surveys and are premised on the assumption that a farmer can accurately self-report their use of improved seed varieties.
“However, many studies have shown that farmers report of seed varieties planted, or whether the seed is improved or local are sometimes inconsistent with the DNA fingerprinting results of these varieties.
“You would agree with me, that misidentification of seed varieties or type could have several implications for both adoption of improved technology, for planting, for Policy formulation for food security and also for regulatory activities.”
Ojo therefore tasked all critical stakeholders to participate in the process to support the initiative to develop a system to effectively and accurately track farmers’ adoption of improved varieties and how varieties turn over through time using DNA finger printing.
Daily Independent gathered that the five year programme is supported by Context Global Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will be implemented in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia.