The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), on Wednesday, in Abuja, said that it would use third party seed certifying agents, as part of its efforts of ensuring effective regulation of the industry.
Dr Phillip Ojo, Director General, NASC, said this at a three-day capacity building workshop for 75 seed certification officers on electronic seed authentication and certification.
Ojo, who said that the digital seed authentication would offer farmers easy access to seed certification, noted that farmers can also have easy access to improved and disease-free seeds.
He further said that the training was in response to the Agricultural Seeds Act 2019, which empowered the council to outsource seed certification to further entrench efficiency in the seed certification process in the country.
According to him, the seeds Act introduced a lot of innovations into the system, including electronic certification and the use of third party certifiers.
“If you look at what is happening today, the number of our staff has actually reduced, also the resources available to us is actually decreasing and the need to ensure that we cover as much ground as possible is very important.
“Many enterprises are coming on board and acres and hectares to certify has actually increased. Therefore, we can no longer do it alone and that is exactly why government, in its wisdom, enacted that law in line with global best practice allowing third party certifiers into the process.
“Certification before used to be virtual, but we are now going diagnostic. Because of dearth of staff and limited resources, we are outsourcing certification to a third party and it is a way to create employment for the youth and others.
“Instead of seed enterprises going to our regional office or the headquarter to register, they can go to the seed tracker platform and register and it is actually a platform for a lot of interactions along the value chain.
“Nigerian farmers and all the stakeholders are expected to interact on that platform and it makes the whole process easier,’’ Ojo said. (NAN)
– Dec. 16, 2020 @ 17:24 GMT |