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According to the National Coordinating Director of the NASC, Abraham Adebayo Agboola, the council which was established as an agency of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in December, 2007, had the mandate of overseeing the development and regulation of the national seed industry coupled with the mission of promoting rapid expansion of agriculture by creating the most dynamic and research oriented farmer supportive seed development and production agency in West Africa.
While saying that the institution will continue to be a centre where all interests and issues of all sectors involved in seed activities would be articulated nationally and internationally for excellent service delivery for the benefit of millions of Nigerians that depended on agriculture, he said the Federal Government’s move to make farming a private sector led initiative through agricultural transformation agenda in order to attain food security, reduce poverty, increase income and standard of living of Nigerian farmers cannot but be given an outmost attention.
The NASC coordinator, however, condemned the activities of some unscrupulous overnight seed merchants in all the nooks and crannies of the country as their activities he posited were being carried out in stores and boots of their vehicles thus threatening the success of the various Federal Government agricultural programmes through reduction in farmers’ harvest and subsequently, low income despite numerous educational and enlightenment campaign programmes for the seed operators so as to make them abstain from the sales of fake seeds, marketing of adulterated, unlabeled, falsely labelled and untagged seeds.
Furthermore, Agboola explained that the council which was structured into five departments was saddled with the responsibility of performing functions like; analysing and formulating programmes, formulating policies and actions regarding seed development and seed industry; designing improved management system and procedures in relation to the administration of seed activity; giving advice to the Federal Government on the organisation, management and financing of seed programmes; advise national research system on the changing patterns of seed demand and farmers’ needs, among others.
The agricultural expert averred that the NASC, as a stakeholder in the seed system, had the statutory responsibility for seed system development in Nigeria.
He, however, posited that despite government’s efforts at improving the lot of farmers, many seed dealers find it difficult to change coupled with financial and mobility problems, stressing that the NASC still needed more cooperation from the law enforcement agents to assist in enforcing its policies, while emphasising that the Federal Government move on agricultural sector was aimed at improving the economy.
He then urged all relevant stakeholders like farmers to always look for seal of authority, while bringing seeds and cooperate with the NASC in achieving its vision and mission.Share