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Adulterated fertiliser, seed affecting Nigeria’s agriculture – Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has said that the effort of the government towards the attainment of national food security…

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has said that the effort of the government towards the attainment of national food security and other goals of agricultural development depends on the performance of the seed industry, which sets the limit of yield response of other farm inputs.

The minister stated this in his keynote address at the validation of the Revised National Agricultural Seed Policy 2021 held in Abuja.

“There are numerous challenges that prevented the Nigerian agricultural sector from attaining its full potential of which use of crude implements, poor knowledge on GAP, small farm size, unproductive inputs such as poor seed quality, adulterated fertilizers and other agro-chemicals that have contributed greatly to lower productivity per unit area and consequently, low per capita income of average Nigerian farmer, ” he said.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, terrorism and natural disasters have greatly disrupted the global food production and supply chain with a great impact on global socio-economic activities including the purchasing power to access food.

Dr Abubakar said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) adopted a multi-stakeholder approach to develop the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) to deal with many issues affecting the sector.

In his remarks, the Director General of the National Agricultural seed Council (NASC), Dr Phillip Ojo, said the council has introduced many innovations to strengthen the seed sector.

“With the enactment of the National Agricultural Seeds Council Act 21 of 2019, the Council has introduced some innovations and technologies which include SEEDCODEX, Third Party Certification, Seed Tracker, NASC Seed Information Management Platform (NASIMP), NASC Electronic Survey Tool (NEST), E-Library and Molecular Diagnostics System,” he said.

The DG said the council has also facilitated the enactment of the Plant Variety Protection Act No. 5 of 2021, which established the secretariat for Plant Variety Protection in Nigeria; and also enabled Nigerian membership of the UPOV.

The review process which commenced last year with a series of activities and consultations has resulted in the development of a revised policy called “Agricultural Seeds Policy 2021-2025” which has leveraged the advent of technology and innovations in the seed industry.