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Quality seed key towards enhancing agricultural productivity, food security- Minister of agric



The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has stressed the need for quality seed as a key input towards enhancing Agricultural productivity ,food security, job creation and economic growth in Nigeria.

 Speaking during the National Seed Retreat organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, on Thursday, Nanono noted that seed is the carrier of the genetic potential of the crop plant that determines the upper limit of yield and the ultimate productivity of fertilizers, agro-chemicals and other inputs including machineries and farming techniques.

Nanono disclosed that the ministry will provide a conducive policy environment to ensuring the sustenance of a virile National Seeds System and to enable a credible, dynamic, competitive and relevant industry which provides healthy and high-quality planting materials for Nigerian farmers and for export irrespective of their location.

He emphasised that the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in partnership with all relevant stakeholders is responsible for seed industry development, regulation and ensuring the development of the nation’s seed sector. 

He also pointed out that the overall set of policy principles of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP), would concentrate on providing an enabling environment for stakeholders at all level to play their distinctive roles. 

The Minister also said that the policy would  provide a conducive legislative and agricultural knowledge framework, macro-policies, security enhancing physical infrastructure and institutional mechanisms for coordination, access to adequate inputs, finance, information on innovation, agricultural services and markets.

He however tasked the Stakeholders on the need to render services for posterity and to make quality seeds available to farmers through sustainable systems with specific recommendations, to guide a sound and sustainable dissemination strategy for improved crops to poor farmers in Nigeria in particular and West in general .

In his goodwill message, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu stated that there is need to focus more on locally made seed because they have been tested and proven in the Seeds sub sector and assured  that the bills before both chambers of the National Assembly would soon be passed into laws.

Earlier, In his submission, the Chairman, House Committee on Agric. Production and Services,  Hon. Danduste Muntari said  that  quality Seed is vital in the process of achieving food sufficiency, job creation and would boost the internally generated revenue in the country.

In his welcome remarks, the Director General,National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, informed that NASC has commenced effort towards the introduction of a Legislation for the Protection of New Varieties of Plant (PVP) in Nigeria as well as firming up on its membership of international organizations like the  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Seed Federation (ISF)  International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).

He advocated for the quick passage of the PVP law to complement the existing Seed Act for the establishment and maintenance of a strong legal protection for seed and plant products and its enforcement so as to deter those who engage in illegal seed practices.

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