The 5th Edition Seed Connect Conference, Achieving Seed Security in Nigeria and Africa- NASC
National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) organised a two-day Conference with the theme: “Innovation and Strategies for Sustainability in Achieving Seed Security in Nigeria and Africa” in Abuja.
The purpose of the Annual Conference is to creates an avenue to discuss ongoing innovations, identify critical gaps, develop strategic framework for scaling up delivery of high quality seeds to farmers, create network and business partnership platform between local, regional and international partners.
Speaking with the Newsmen, Mainza Mugoya, Programme Coordinator, the African Seed Access Index (TASAI), Kampala Uganda, said in Nigeria one of the biggest challenges is quality control and assurance is necessary to ensure that quality is maintained from the beginning of such to production to the end; from research to production of basics seeds.
He noted that seeds companies may face some challenges, such as; the capacity to meet up the control guidelines set by the government, production and seeds standards. Some companies that are new and young need to boast up their capacity to standards.
Mainza who said that Extension services in Nigeria is weak also said that funding and technical support to the research institutions that developed varieties are very important.
In his contribution, Prof. Lateef Sanni, from Federal University of Agriculture Abiokuta, IITA, and Project Manager, Cassava Building an Integrated Sustainable Cassava, (Cassava Basics ) said, “in Nigeria World Bank set up State Agricultural programmes (ADP’S) that extended some of these technologies and best practices to farmers at the rural level.”
He lamented that farmers are under funded and said, “Unfortunately, we keep on reducing the funding to ADP’S in the country. The example is that we have about one thousand seed producers , we have to reach them through ADP’S and some private NGO’s. The combination of public and private support are very important to reach millions of farmers.”
Prof. Sanni stressed that nobody is investing in Universities technical hub to cover our agro-ecological zones as a nation . He charged the government to look inwards and establish seed development centres to cover our agro-ecological hubs.
the SeedConnect is an annual event organized by the National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, Nigeria, in collaboration with the private seed sector to create a forum for major stakeholders within the industry to discuss various issues impacting players within the seed industry and design pathways for more resilient food systems.