Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to revive and speedily implement the supply of seeds and other agro-inputs as approved by President Bola Tinubu to boost food production.
President of the association, Otunba Richard Olafare made the appeal at SEEDAN’S Annual General Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.
The association also called on the government to patronise seed companies accredited by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) as well as those with evidence of seed lots that have passed minimum field certification and seed laboratory standards
This according to him, is to ensure that farmers get quality and viable seeds to boost for the production.
Olafare, who was represented by Sir George zangir, appealed to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and all relevant agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), commercial banks, insurance companies among others to intensify support for seed businesses.
He said it would enable most companies to expand production and modernise their seed processing activities.
He also noted that the association had over 400 seed businesses accredited by the National Agricultural Seed Council which is an evidence of the viability and potentials of the seed industry.
According to him, the achievements made by the association in the past would not make meaningful impact unless the use of improved seeds in Nigeria is increased from the current level which is less than 20 per cent relative to countries especially in East and Southern Africa that record well above 60 per cent.
”This low adoption rate, widespread poverty and the small size of farm holdings, he said, make support to farmers necessary if they are to optimally produce enough food to feed the country.
“The use improved seeds and other novel farm tools in today’s world, where population growth, climate change, and resource scarcity pose significant challenges are pointers to the importance of agricultural productivity per unit area.
“The availability of quality seeds is a fundamental pillar in achieving productivity, and it serves as the cornerstone of sustainable agricultural practices and policies.
”Seed business is, however, capital intensive hence, sustained access to low-cost finance is the primed driver for growth and commitment to quality at every stage,” he said.
The Acting Director-General of National Agricultural Seed Council(NASC), Dr. Ishiak Khalid, commended SEEDAN for its commitment towards promoting best practices through researches and advocacy in the seed industry.
He said, over the years, SEEDAN has played a pivotal role in advancing the seed industry in Nigeria by fostering innovation, collaboration, and excellence.
“Your dedication to ensuring that high-quality seeds are accessible to farmers has significantly contributed to the growth of our agricultural sector and prosperity as a nation.
“Your efforts have not only strengthened the capacity of entrepreneurs but also empowered farmers across Nigeria with a total of over 450 seed entrepreneurs in the docket and over 120 in different stages of accreditation,” Khalid added.(NAN)