Dutse, Nov. 14, 2017 (TNE) The National Agricultural Seeds Council of Nigeria (NASC) on Tuesday said Nigeria produced 75 per cent of the seeds used in West Africa and exports to other countries in the sub-region.
NASC’s Director-General, Mr Philips Olusegun, made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa in Dutse on Tuesday.
“The emergency seed supply is an example, and Jigawa state contributed immensely to this figure, especially for rice and wheat, in which it has comparative advantage in production.
“The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, when he was Acting President, directed NASC to come up with strategies of solving the shortage of the Early Generation Seeds (EGS), which is currently a major challenge to improved seeds availability in Nigeria.
“NASC has already submitted a white paper on this to the Presidency, through the minister of Agriculture.
“Let me state that Jigawa will be a major beneficiary of this initiative when approved,” Olusegun said.
He explained that the establishment of the State Seeds Coordinating Committee (SSCC) would enhance the production and utilization of improved seeds by farmers in the state.
“The establishment of the SSCC in the state will greatly enhance the production and utilization of improved seeds by farmers.
“The SSCC was approved at NCA Council meeting held at Sokoto in 2008. The letter written by the Minister of Agriculture to all State Executives including Jigawa on the need and importance for the establishment of the SSCC, aimed at engaging state governors on Seed Development and Support for private sector in the states.”
According to him, seven states — Jigawa, Yobe, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Nasarawa, Kano and Oyo — have constituted and inaugurated their SSCCs.
“The SSCC is saddled with the following mandates of determining the state’s total seed requirement and strategies on how to achieve it, promotion of improved seed varieties among farmers, including sensitization of using quality seeds and organising seed planning meetings,” the DG said.
The council also decorated the governor as the number one Seed Inspector to oversee seed activities in the state.