The Director General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Mr. Philip O. Ojo has disclosed that Nigeria produces more than 75 percent of the seeds used in West Africa, just as Jigawa State produces more than 80 per cent of the total quality seeds produced in the country.
Ojo who stated this during his courtesy visit to Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, at the Government House, Dutse, said the Ebola emergency seed supply is an example of the country’s exporting strength, noting that Jigawa State has contributed immensely to this figure, especially for rice and wheat in which Nigeria has comparative advantage in production.
He revealed that the seed companies located outside the state, but with their production sites located within, produced a total of 9,534,32 mt of CS and 73.5 mt of FS, cultivated on 2,751.52 ha and 21.0 ha respectively, across locations in the state in 2016 cropping season, while a total of 401.06 ha of seeds fields of various crops are being inspected in the 2017-cropping season.
While commending the governor, Ojo said the seeds companies, established in Jigawa were signs of sustainable agricultural development in the state. The seed companies are: Arziki Seeds Nig. Ltd, Dutse, Sahel Seeds Ltd, Hadejia and ISWA Integrated Synergy Ltd, Dutse, amongst others.
“It is known to all that without quality seeds, the essence of profitable agriculture cannot be achieved. That is why we are always commending you for this good initiative,” says Ojo.
The DG further commented that the innovation of the state government in the establishment of the first state owned agricultural research institute- the Jigawa Agricultural Research Institute (JARI), Kazaure, has impacted positively on the agricultural revolution witnessed in the state.
“I wish to use this medium to inform the public that the Council shall henceforth strictly enforce the rules against sharp practices and prosecute any individual organisation that contravenes any of the provisions of the existing law,” warns Ojo.
Calling on all other agencies whose activities deal with seeds that they were expected to comply with all directives issued by the Council in accordance with the law, he warned that, “Non compliance will be tantamount to disrespect for the Law of the land and therefore liable to prosecution.”
Ojo concludes that, “We want seeds companies to come to Nigeria and produce seeds of greater quality. The enabling environment has been there for long.”
The DG along with his entourage visited a seed company in Birnin Kudu after the courtesy call.
In his speech, the governor assured the NASC DG that with the availability of quality seeds; the state would do more than expected in terms of delivery in all sub-sectors of the agricultural sector, insisting that, “That is why we take ourselves to be more competitive at the global market.”
He called on the Council to do more in seeing that the quality of the Nigerian seeds get improved, emphasising that, “With what we are seeing from the Council, we are hopeful that Nigeria will be producing more quality seeds than other parts of the world,” he says.