Giving agriculture needed push to drive economic growth

…as SEEDCONNECT Africa Conference set to take-off Nov 29-30

By Gabriel Ewepu

FOLLOWING losses farmers incur, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, Thursday, urged Nigerians on reporting fake seed dealers to the appropriate authorities for drastic action.

Abubakar made the call during a sensitization for quality seeds, which forms part of activities for the 2021 SEEDCONNECT Africa Conference and Exhibition holding on 29th and 30th of November 2021 in Abuja.

The SeedConnect Africa Conference and Exhibition creates an avenue to discuss ongoing innovations, identify critical gaps, develop strategic framework for scaling up delivery of high quality seeds to farmers, create network and business partnership platform between local, regional and international partners.

The Conference is gaining more momentum as it enters into its fourth year as Nigeria’s seed industry remains a leading one in Africa with supply of 50 per cent of the continent’s seeds to farmers.

This year’s edition NASC is holding it in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He said: “We must adopt improved quality seeds, planting good quality seeds that have been approved by the seed council will lead to bumper harvest which will make the country food secure.

“Planting of adulterated seed will lead to low yield which is not good for the country. It is not about you, is about Nigeria, its people and the growth and development, our economic prosperity.

“Let us all be the ambassador of the use of good quality improved seeds, let us help the ministry to police those that are trying to sell bad seeds.

“If you see someone selling bad seeds it is your responsibility to alert the authorities.

“We have a unit in the Seed Council that is concerned that making sure that good quality seed is sold, no codex, don’t buy. Don’t buy any seed that is not approved by the Seed Council.”

He also promised to support the NASC and all other departments and agencies including the private sector for a rapid developing agricultural sector geared towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in all the value chains.

Earlier, during the walk from Eagle Square to the Headquarters of the Ministry, the Director General NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, in his remarks commended the Minister for joining the walk, and expressed He said the seed connect is coming up on Monday and Tuesday will be the biggest in Africa.

According the to the NASC boss, “Nigeria supplies more than 50 per cent of quality seeds that are being used in West Africa.

“Other countries in West Africa are coming to learn what makes us big in seed production. We have gotten invitations from Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Gambia.

He also revealed that, “Ghana will be coming with its delegation to come and study what we are doing here.”

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