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Research institute expresses concern over low quality seeds in Nigeria

The National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State, has expressed concern over the influx of low-quality seeds in Nigerian market, and called for proactive…

The National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State, has expressed concern over the influx of low-quality seeds in Nigerian market, and called for proactive measures to sensitise farmers and seed producers and marketer to help address the challenge. 

This formed part of the deliberations at a two-day capacity building workshop for 100 seed producers, marketers and farmers, organised by the institute in Badeggi. 

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The Executive Director of NCRI, Dr Aliyu Umar, represented by Dr Bakare Samuel, the director, Research Operations in the institute, said the training would ensure quality seeds control mechanisms for breeders and farmers, and assured of the institute’s continued support for the promotion of agricultural activities for sustainable food sufficiency.  

“When you are ignorant you will not know many things, and you are at a disadvantage. But now, you are being informed, and when you are informed you can have the capacity and nobody can deceive you.  

“It was a capacity building and information sharing on technologies and things that ought to be done. Seed producers and marketers do whatever they like, and there was need to protect our activities and farmers from unnecessary losses. So we need to protect our seeds. And we feel there is a need to train our seed producers on what needs to be done. Many farmers need to be taught how to identify quality seeds because they buy seeds that are inferior,” he stated. 

Also speaking, the project coordinator, Partnership for Agricultural Research Education and Development, Mr Audu Sale Dogo, said that apart from best agronomical practices, quality seed was critical to improve yield nationwide. 

“In terms of seed production, there is no way we can get food security right without good seeds. We have discovered that the seeds most of our farmers are getting are not the actual seeds; some are recycling seeds. So, we need to let seed companies and seed producers know the nitrates and right seeds and how to produce good seed for our farmers to increase their yield and boost the food security we are all yearning for in the country.  

“Companies should produce quality seeds with good certification for farmers to boost the yield of farmers based on climate change,” he argued. 

A seed expert in the National Cereal Research Institute, Badeggi, Adesanya Oluwatoyin, said for farmers to maintain their field very well, seed producers should have adequate knowledge of quality seeds so that they would sell high-quality seeds to farmers to increase the yield and improve the gross domestic product of the country, as well as a source of income and livelihood of farmers. 

She pointed out that the institute was concerned with maintenance on the field, and seed conditioning, in terms of how producers process their seeds, post-harvest and storage.

She attributed the low yield experienced by Nigerian farmers to low-quality seeds being sold in the market.

Some of the participants, Shehu Abubakar and Amina Aliyu, said the capacity building had exposed them to quality seeds preparation without compromising standards. 

Abubakar said, “There are some knowledge gaps we do have, but the training has given us the technical know-how on the issue of compromising the quality of seed production. The quality of seeds should not be compromised. Farmers should get quality seeds because they lead to high yield.”