Farmers to get 81,000MT seeds from NASC

THE National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has given assurance to farmers of access to about 81,000 metric tonnes of certified seeds for the 2020 farming season.

Director General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists during a virtual media briefing held on Zoom.

Ojo, during the briefing, explained that the council was doing its best towards ensuring that seed activities are sustained and promoted amid efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic in the country.

“The industry is preparing to push 81,000 of certified seeds which include rice, maize, sorghum, soya bean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame, and potato, to the market and companies as farmers prepare for the planting season,” he said.

This, Ojo added, was in a bid to produce adequate quantities of seeds for the next cropping season.

He further explained that the seeds were ready for deployment and purchase by farmers for the production of food and raw materials across the country

Ojo also reiterated the need to address the current reduction in food stocks.

“The urgent need to replace depleted food stock as a result of the massive purchase and consumption is now staring us in the face and we can only achieve this using high- quality seeds,” he noted.

The NASC chief further explained that his agency would be working with relevant stakeholders to implement various coping actions which will help the sector to continue to function amid the Covid-19 crisis.

He said: “Planned actions to ensure farmers have access to seeds include: structuring the trade of seed and agro-inputs in designated markets and on specific days while complying with social distancing directions of relevant agencies of government at local, state and federal levels by using a decentralised model for organising the markets that allows quality seed and agro-inputs to be transported close to farmers and thus reduce the distance that farmers need to travel to access inputs.

“Also to create seed sector task forces at federal, state, and local government levels to review regularly the inter-state movement of essential agricultural goods and services and provide guidance on measures to be taken.

“Also, to advocate and raise awareness to ensure that the services and business of seed companies and agro-input dealers are designated as essential with a view to communicating their role as essential to food security and the national economy widely through all traditional and social media platforms.”

The NASC boss also lauded the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,  Sabo Nanono, for his efforts towards instating the task force to oversee movement of agricultural produces amid lockdown directives across the states.

“We commend the efforts of our Minister of Agriculture towards ensuring that agricultural stakeholders can move about to conduct their businesses without hindrances.

“With the support of the law enforcement agencies, this ministerial intervention will help the agribusiness community greatly,” he said.

 

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