November 1, 2019

IITA, Seed Council inaugurate seed trackers for smart farming in Nigeria

IITA calls for synergy with private sectors to boost agriculture

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in partnership with the  National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) on Friday inaugurated seed trackers for smart farming in Nigeria.

The seed trackers are Cassava Seed Tracker, Yam Seed Tracker, IITA Akilimo, IITA GO seed tracker and IITA herbicide calculator for weed free-fields.

The event was tagged: IITA’s smart tools for smart farming; promo day for digital connections, held in IITA, Ibadan.

READ ALSO: 7.2 million Africans lifted out of poverty through IITA’s research innovations – DG

Dr. Lava Kumar, the IITA Head of Germplasm Health Unit and Virologist, said the seed tracker was a comprehensive Web App for seed value chain integration and management.

Kumar said that the seed tracker offered digital data collection tools usable on any internet-enabled devices, online and offline, offered customised individual and group accounts, a database with analytics tools.

The Virologist said that the seed tracker could cover all stages of the seed value chain and “is useful to all stakeholders including traders and farmers’’.

He said that it could support seed production planning, seed traceability, seed inventory, real-time tracking of production status, seed certification, marketing, information resources, among others.

“It integrates informal seed producers and offers comprehensive information on seed production by crop, region, location, variety and volumes produced.

READ ALSO: IITA expresses worry over complicated nutrition problems in Nigeria

“The seed tracker has been piloted in Nigeria as cassava seed tracker for cassava seed systems through the RTB-led BASICS project,” he said.

Dr Olusegun Ojo, the NASC Director-General said the NASC seed tracker could help manage all the seed production activities including seed company registration, field registration, and communication with NASC.

He said that registered users could get a secure account for managing quality assurance and seed certification operations.

“Adoption of Seed Tracker signifies NASC intent to modernise procedures to transform the Nigerian seed sector into a leading seed industry in Africa,” he said.

Also, the IITA Director-General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, expressed delight that the inauguration was a wonderful present to him as Nov.1 made it eight years he was appointed as IITA D-G.

“The yam and cassava seed systems when I came into office were archaic but now with the latest researches and innovations such as the type we have today, farmers will surely have access to improved seeds,” he said.