World Organisations Rally to Give Nigerian Farmers $1.9m for Seeds Production
A group consisting of world organisations have rallied to unveil plans to invest about $1.9million to support the production of quality early generation seeds in Nigeria.
The arrangement which comes under the Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa will see support from the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID), the Rockefeller Foundation, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under which Nigerian seed companies will get a three-year project aimed at increasing production and dissemination of early generation seeds and to provide checks counterfeiting of seeds.
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Kehinde Makinde who is AGRA’s Country Director, explained during the inception planning and review meeting of the consortium in Abuja on Thursday May 30, saying the fund would be split among the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Premiere Seeds, and Value seeds. He also noted that the focus is to reach two million farmers with improved certified maize seeds, soya bean and rice.
The Director-General, NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, said Nigeria requires about 400,000 metric tonnes (MT) of certified seeds annually, adding that the provision of 1,810MT of foundation seeds would, among others, ensure seed companies are able to meet demand.
Ojo said: “It is actually our way to ensure that only good quality seeds are made available to farmers; and farmers are no longer surcharged, and to enable farmers know that what they are buying are authentic to improve productivity and food security.”
He also said private seed companies would work to ensure that there is adequate quantity of early generation seeds to have good quality seeds at the farmer’s end. He said NASC would regulate activities of the seed companies, and provide quality assurance mechanism to ensure that what they bring out is the best quality.
“We are also going to ensure that after producing, the tags that go on those seeds are smart tags that farmers can get better assurance that these are quality seeds,” he said.
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