By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—IN order to boost food production in the country, Regional Head, National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, Mr Mmoeyak Usua, South-South Zone, has called on farmers in the zone to use good quality seeds which he said has been recognised as the most important input in boosting agriculture production.
He made the call in Benin, Edo State, yesterday at the seed market sensitization, education and enlightenment campaign programme for stakeholders in the zone, saying that improved quality seed is not only cheapest and basic potential of increasing yield but also fundamental in raising the sufficiency of other inputs such as fertilizer, agrochemical and irrigation.
He disclosed that it had been estimated that 50 percentage of improvement in agricultural production comes from the use of improved seedlings, adding that in essence, no agricultural practice, be it fertilizer, pesticide application or irrigation, can improve crop production beyond the limit set by seed.
He said: “It is pertinent to note that over 70 percent of Nigerians are involved in one agricultural venture or another. All these underscore the need to sensitise, educate, enlighten and create awareness to all stakeholders in the seed industry especially farmers, for guaranteed quality seed delivery system for the nation
“One of Nigeria’s greatest challenges today is that of low agricultural productivity which is largely due to low uptake and usage of quality seed of improved crop varieties with other related inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides.”
In order to achieve the National Seed requirement estimated to be over 350,000 Mt/year and also in way to attain the present administrations effort in diversification of the economy from oil to agriculture there is need to educate various farmers in the seed industry, so that good seeds could be made available to them,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Oriaifo Sunday, the Programme Manger, Edo Agriculture Development Programmed, EDADP, said that Edo ADP will support any initiative that will enhance the income of farmers in the state, quality seed production inclusive.