Dr Olusegun Ojo, Director-General, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), has assured Nigerians of a bumper harvest, good quality seeds, improved standard of living and an overall improvement in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ojo gave the assurance after a meeting of partners on Saturday at the council’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said that this would be made possible through a project he called Rapid Multiplication and Production of Early Generation Seed for Production of Certified Seeds for Farmers in Nigeria.
The director-general said that the project was sponsored by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He said that the project was aimed at making sure that early generation seeds comprising of foundation seeds and breeder seeds were produced.
“They are meant to produce certified seeds for farmers in Nigeria; that is the target,’’ he said.
Ojo further stated that the meeting was for planning and review of the three consortium comprising NASC and two prominent seed companies, Premier Seed and Value Seed.
He said that the meeting came as the need arose, to appraise the development and performance of each of the consortium.
“The meeting is being held at the instance of NASC because it is the one coordinating the other two stakeholders and more so, it is due to the fact that money has been released by AGRA for the execution of various aspects of the project.
“Therefore, this meeting is to find out the level of implementation from each of the stakeholders,’’ he said.
Mr Folarin Okelola, the Project Manager of the AGRA Early Generation Seed (EGS) programme, said that the two leading seed companies, Premier Seed and Value Seed were saddled with the responsibilities of producing quality rice, maize and soybeans seeds.
“Very soon, the challenge of early generation seeds production in Nigeria will be a thing of the past,’’ he assured.
According to him, Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) is the umbrella body where donors pull their resources together to support various agricultural development programmes in the region.
Mr Agboola Adebayo, the NASC Director, Seed Inspectorate, said that the two seed companies had been given the responsibilities of producing about 810 metric tons of EGS of rice, maize and soybeans.
He stressed the importance of EGS as far as seed production was concerned.