AS part of measures geared towards improving the use and management of seed collection through multi-stakeholder process, National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), in conjunction with Global Crop Diversity Trust, recently conducted Farmers’ Participatory Variety Selection (FPVS) at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) outstation in Kishi, Oyo State.
This was done to develop resilient seeds against climate change and ensure food security in the country.
Director and Chief Executive Officer, NACGRAB, Dr. Sunday Aladele, represented by Dr. Olabisi Alamu, noted that the programme is a component of user engagement activities within the framework Seed for Resilience (S4R) project which is being implemented in three states in Nigeria namely Oyo, Niger and Kano where 150 samples of both indigenous and unique accessions of sorghum and cowpea were planted in order to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.
He also informed that farmers are expected to select the best among the accessions of sorghum and cowpea based on their desirable traits such as earliness, seed colour, panicle size, seed yield etc. The ones chosen will be multiplied by NACGRAB and distributed to farmers for further planting to boost their production capacity.
In his presentation, Head of the Seed Genebank department, Dr. Adam Olosunde, enlightened the farmers about the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Act. He noted that the PVP Act permits saving of seeds for personal use but not for commercial purposes.
PVP is to protect the intellectual property of plant breeders and therefore encourage the investment in breeding of improved varieties that will increase the productivity of farmers.
One hundred sorghum and cowpea farmers who are members of Germplasm Users Group (GUG) that were mobilised across Oyo State attended the programme.