The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has revealed that seed companies under its watch have 100,023 metric tons of certified seeds, including rice, maize, sorghum, soybean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame and potato, in stock for the coming planting season.
NASC Director-General Phillip Ojo, while addressing journalists during his first media interaction for the year, disclosed that improved seeds will be available for farmers to plant instead of their own low-quality seeds, an upgrade that will ensure better yields during this trying period.
The DG expressed that the council is working to tackle the distribution of fake seeds on the market through enhanced seed surveillance and the introduction of the SEEDCODEX system, which allows farmers to determine seed quality and ensure only improved, certified seeds are sold to them.
“Our message here to all fake seed operators is that we are just around the corner to stop their nefarious act. Our call to farmers is that only seeds affixed with the NASC SEEDCODEX tags fall under this category and it should be what they should buy from the shelves of their seed suppliers.
“Please let our farmers know that all certified seeds pack in Nigeria must carry this authentication tags with code affixed on them for farmers to send to a dedicated number to be able to verify instantly, the authenticity of seeds purchased by them and report any unscrupulous seed dealers in the National seed space to the NASC,” Ojo explained.
He added that 103 of the country’s 314 seed entrepreneurs were delisted and their operational licenses were withdrawn as a result of the recertification of companies accredited by the NASC in 2020.