THE National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) says the private sector is part and parcel of its mandate of making sure that good quality seeds are made available to Nigerian farmers.
Mr Ebiarede Zidafamor, the Director, Seed Coordination and Management Services at the NASC made this known an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
“The council encourages private sector participation, which is why they are represented on the board.
“In regulations as well as policies, the private sector is part of it. They are also allowed access to breeder and foundation seeds and quality materials,’’ he said.
On what the seed council is doing in the value chain of seed production, the director said it had been involved in variety development in the seed value chain.
“We also have the variety release and registration, the breeder seeds, certified seeds production, distribution and marketing of seeds.
“We have field inspection, certification, seed extension, promotion and financing which is very important in the value chain,’’ he said.
He said that the council had intervened in the area of financing by introducing seed companies to banks to get some financial.
According to Zidafamor, it is one of our functions in variety development to give advice on the changing pattern of seed use.
He said the council also kept the research institutions abreast on the need of the farmers to purchase quality seeds during r review meetings with them.
“If there are varieties not performing well or where there is a mixture, we convey to the research institutions by informing them of the mix up down the line of production for correction.
“As member of the Variety Release Committee, NASC makes recommendations, give information about seed uptake and seed use.
“This also guides the variety release committee on the adoption of newly released varieties,’’ he said.
Zidafamor said since ECOWAS harmonised seed rule stipulates certification for all classes of seed, the council conducted quality control, inspection and coordination of the production of the various classes of seeds.
“When we come to distribution which is very key; we have seen sham practices during distribution and marketing, where fake seeds are sold to farmers in the guise of good seeds.
“Here, the seed council has the inspectorate department which monitors the market by keeping surveillance in a bid to rid the market of fake seeds that are produced, ’’ said.
Zidafamor said in one of its programmes, a participant had referred to the director of seed inspectorate as one doing a mad man’s job’’.
“This is because the director goes to the field with his team to put those involved in the marketing of fake and adulterated seeds out of business,’’ he said. (NAN)
– Sept. 6, 2019 @ 13:25 GMT |