The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring quality of agricultural seeds, seedlings and other inputs as fundamental requirements for productivity of farmers.
The council said intensive agricultural practices by using quality inputs would guarantee productivity per hectare, which, in turn, would boost efforts to make Nigeria food-secure.
Director, Seed Inspectorate of the council, Mr A.A Agboola, during a programme tagged, ‘Strategic Surveillance and Compliance Inspection Visit to Seed Producing Agencies in the South-West Zone,’ said good harvests on farmers’ farmland starts with quality seeds, hence, the council’s resolve to monitor procedures and processes of seed companies and agents.
Speaking on the imperative of quality control, he said: “The importance of this exercise is to access the level of compliance to seed rules and regulations and particularly, Seed Act No. 21 of 2019, as it relates to seed processing, packaging and marketing by seed producing outfits.”
The council said in line with global best practices, the exercise intends to educate and guide stakeholders on the processes to be followed before passed seed lots are rolled out for marketing and distribution to end users.
“This exercise will also help in reducing some of the challenges faced during seed market surveillance in the area of seed adulteration and improper packaging,” Agboola added.
This exercise is carried out regularly with the plan of visiting all seed producing agencies before they roll out their seeds for distribution and marketing.
The inspectorate directorate also looks into the method of sorting, processing and packaging with special emphasis on proper completion and authentication of seed certification tags and company labels. In addition, storage facilities are inspected to ensure adherence with seed standards.
Director-General of the council, Dr Philips Ojo, said: “This exercise will ensure total reduction in, if not bring to an end, the poor attitude of companies marketing fake and poor quality seeds/seedlings to Nigerian farmers.”