NASC launches technology to tackle fake seed

Worried about the quality of seeds in circulation, the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has launched a seed verification mechanism called Seedcodex to guarantee farmers access to quality seeds for improved productivity going forward.

Dr. Olusegun Ojo, the Director General of NASC said the Seedcodex is an important achievement in the history of the seed industry in the country as it is targeted towards ensuring accountability, quality control.

Dr Ojo while speaking at the launch of the technology in Abuja, said the solution remained one of the global best practices in the seed industry, representing the mark of accountability and transparency which will be on every seed container to be sold henceforth.

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His words: “The unveiling today is going to be a game-changer, it’s going to show a lot of transparency in the process: quality control is going to actually be introduced and the integrity of whatever is in the container is being assured today.

“So, farmers will now have access to better quality seeds and it’s going to lead to increased productivity and income and at the end of the day- there’s going to be plenty food for Nigerians.”

Furthermore, Ojo said, “our responsibility is to make this is available and ensure the information is spread widely and that’s exactly why everybody is actually on board. This is a very good technology that has to be taken to the grassroots and to the farmers.”

However, the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr. Kabiru Ibrahim said the seedcodex provides additional protection for the farmer.

He noted that the solution will not only enrich the farmers but also help the country achieve food security through improved productivity.

“The seed is the beginning of agriculture. We are here today because this is an epoch-making event unveiling further protection of the farmer.

“We embrace it as I said. This is the game-changer we have been waiting for.

“The farmers in Nigeria want to be taken out of poverty. Nigeria wants to have food sufficiency and ultimately food security. Anything that will make that happen is a very welcome development.

“There is nothing in the agricultural space that is more important than seed. Today we have unveiled the seed codex. It will ensure that our farmers get veritable seeds, good seeds that will enhance productivity. Farmers will get out of poverty and in fact, they will get into prosperity and so we welcome it”, Ibrahim said.

Also speaking, the Technical Adviser to the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN), Professor Johnson Onyibe described the launch as a great day for farmers and the seed industry.

“We have been working to find solutions to faking of seeds to ensure the quality of seeds that we make available to farmers is the best. This is one step towards that aspiration.

“We subscribe to anything that guarantees the quality of the seeds and gives our members comfort that what they are buying from our members is of high quality,” Professor Onyibe added.

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