Leading voice in the agriculture sector, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) has stressed the need for the urgent passage of the seed and fertilizer bills by the National Assembly. He said that if the seed bill passed into law it would be embedded with provisions to ensure an increase in private sector participation, protection of farmers and promotions of the seed industry.
Speaking with journalists at a press conference in Lagos, the President of NABG, Alhaji Sanni Dangote, said that the benefit of the bill would provide a more comprehensive law befitting the seed sector.
According to him, the essence of the bill is to establish a body for the regularisation and control of seed in Nigeria.
He said: “Seeds are the most essential components of farming. Hence, the high demand for seeds which has exposed farmers to the danger of burgeoning cases of seed adulteration, poor seed quality and unauthorized dealers, other malpractices by unscrupulous individuals camouflaging themselves as agro dealers.
The increasing cases of malpractice demand a proactive response by stakeholders for the passage of the National Agricultural seeds council bill and its attendant regulations.”
On fertilizer bill passage, Dangote said the increment of supply into market without a functional regulatory framework has exposed the farmers to the danger of burgeoning cases of product adulteration.
“The Federal Government has made spirited attempts at making the fertilizer industry more private sector driven through various programmes aimed at improving fertilizer supply.
“The expected benefits of the passage of the fertilizer bill are to safeguard the interest of the farmer against nutrient deficiencies, adulteration, misleading claims and short weight. Also, it will safeguard the interest of fertilizer enterprises and contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for private sector investment in the fertilizer industry. As well as prohibition of unauthorized activities of manufacturers, blenders or importers and stipulations of procedures for obtaining permits or certificate of registration,” he said.
Dangote further said that alongside their partners, they have supported the design, validation and implementation of the Green Alternative Agriculture Promotion Policy of the current administration.
“We have created a fast-track action plan for the engagement and crowing in of private sector investments, driven by the quest for increased farm productivity to meet the demands of food processors in Nigeria. We have successfully facilitated the planning and co-ordination of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Micro reforms for Africa Agribusinesses in Nigeria”.