Minister expresses worry over poor quality seeds, lack of extension workers


SABO Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has expressed worry over the poor quality of seeds in the country.

Nanono made this known when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), flagship programme, NAN Forum on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that lack of extension agents had also contributed to the poor quality of seeds in the country.

He said that low investment in seeds undermined food security, adding that quality seed was inevitable in the efforts to ensure food security.

“We are very much concerned about the poor quality of seed in this country, specifically wheat it is been like that for a long time.

“There is one species seed introduced into the farming communities in the last 10, 15 years, they call it attiene, and it is just declining.

“Now the issue is more with extension agents advising the farmers on the seeds and the type of the seeds that they are going to plant and when to plant, that is very crucial.

“But unfortunately, we do not have enough extension workers in this country; in fact, it is one of the lowest points farming in agricultural developments in this country.

Nanono said that shortage of extension agents was one of the challenges being faced in the production of quality seeds in the country.

He said that there are varieties of seeds such as wheat, attiene, sorghum, among others, adding that the seeds supposed to yield quality seeds in the country.

He added that sorghum was one of the good seeds developed by the Institute of Agriculture of Seed in Zaria.

He added that the problem of sorghum seed was that it has local varieties which made the seed standardised.

“For instance, if you drive from Kano to Katsina you will see nearly 10 to 15 varieties of sorghum seeds with a different kinds of look.

“What we require now is to identify those that will give you the highest standidise probably we don’t need much of categories of the seed of sorghum now,” he said.

Nanono said that the country was lacking extension workers that would provide technical services in the production of the seeds.

He said that the extension workers would determine the type of seed and when the farmers would plant the seed.

On the border closure, the minister said that the government was making every effort to ensure that the country was not a dumping ground, adding that other countries were targeting the Nigerian market.

“We have been able to curtail the importation of rice through the border closure.

“I think once we get that in line, we don’t have any problem in converting Nigeria from being a dumping ground.

“At least, we have succeeded about 100 percent in ensuring that rice is not a dumping ground in the country.

“You can see that we have virtually curtailed the importation of rice and the smuggling of rice in the country,’’ he said. (NAN)

– Mar. 19, 2020 @ 17:05 GMT |

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