Why we invest in early generation seeds in Nigeria

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Mr George Bigirwa, Head of Seed System in Alliance for Green Revolution Africa, has explained why the international organisation is interested in strengthening the early generation seed system in Nigeria.

“Early generation seed is the initial stock which seed companies require to produce certified seeds which eventually gets to farmers. In Nigeria just like every other part of the world, there has been that big problem – the shortage of early generation seed.

“So we are coming to meet here (in Abuja) to come up with some strategies of ensuring that we put a system in place so that there is enough early generation seeds which the seed companies can use to produce enough certified seeds for farmers,” he said.

Mr Bigirwa stressed that the number of farmers using improved seeds in the country is very low, adding that “there is need really to strengthen the seed system in the country so that the amount of improved seeds farmers use is substantial and the number of farmers using improved seeds is also raised.

“If they do that the farmers will be able to have increased yield because right now the yields are very low and the reason is that farmers are using home saved seeds which are giving them low yields.

“Our intention is to ensure that farmers take up improved variety so that they can have enough and better yield, food security and improved income.”

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