Africa Rice Centre trains 58 NASC officers on rice yield

Africa Rice Centre, Ibadan has trained 58 National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) officers on rice seed quality assurance and varietal recognition at Ibadan station on August 3, 2016.

The training workshop was informed by the continuously record of low yield in the quality of rice production in Nigeria has become worrisome among farmers and research Institute across the country.

This low yield which was attributed to adulterated seeds in the market has contributed to the unprecedented low rice production experienced by farmers.

In its quick intervention to save the situation, the Africa Rice Centre, Ibadan, commenced an implementation of a three-year project (2015 – 2018) with an international agency, USAID to drastically eradicate adulterated rice seeds from the channels of production through training of rice seeds producers and monitoring and inspection officers.

The Rice Seed Scaling project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is not a regular project but a technical assistance to add value to the urgent need for quality breeder and foundation seed – lacking in Nigeria. Over the years, the problem has been that rice seeds are recycled and adulterated leading to poor yield.

Speaking at the training, the Regional Representative of Africa Rice Centre, Nigeria station, Ibadan, Dr Francis Nwilene said “It was an informed decision by the separate stakeholders in the seed sector of Nigeria and the issue is adulterated in our system; can you call Faro 45 in Ibadan as the same things with Faro 45 in Kano? The answer is no.

“This is because of mixture of seeds and there are lot of adulteration, so, with this project, what we did was to go back to the basis, went back to our chambers where we have seeds stored for over 100, 60, 40 and 20 years and so, on under a control temperature of -20.”

The workshop which was on the capacity building of certification officers from the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), also ensured that rice seed producers nationwide conform to quality standards.