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Seed Council trains, producers, others on new technology



As part of efforts to build and sustain a market oriented private sector driven seed industry for the production and distribution of high-quality seeds in Nigeria, the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has trained over 60 seed producers and other stakeholders in the sector on new multiplication technology.

The stakeholders were also trained on the rudiments of quality seed production, processing, storage and handling; and enlightenment on the existing seed rules and regulations as enshrined in the new National Agricultural Seeds Council Act No 21 of 2019 to enable them operate within the confines of the law while producing and marketing seeds.

Addressing the participants during the training workshop in Abuja on Thursday, the Director General, Dr. Olusegun Ojo, said NASC has the mandate for training stakeholders especially the Seed Producers in the Nigerian seed industry to divulge the requisite knowledge and skills for quality seed production.

“This also extend to the Agro-dealers who are the middlemen for marketing and distribution of seeds produced to the end users to ensure proper handling of the seeds in their various stores to minimize damages on traded seed and maintain viability.

“Seed production is a specialized activity that requires high technical skills, and this cannot be acquired without training to impart the requisite knowledge and techniques in seed production which of course include all the production activities that take place on the field, as well as handling the seed during harvesting, processing, storage and distribution.

“It is for this course that we have gathered you here to be trained on the rudiments of quality seed production, processing, storage and handling; and enlighten you on the existing seed rules and regulations as enshrined in the new National Agricultural Seeds Council Act No 21 of 2019 to enable you operate within the confines of the law while producing and marketing seeds for your respective seed companies,” he said

Also, the Director, Seed Coordination and Management, Mr. Zidafamor Ebiarade Jimmy, training the participants, said the training is to enhance the ability of stakeholders in the seed sector to produce quality seeds using new technology.

He said the council is carrying everyone in the sector across the value chains along, saying the responsibility of seed quality does not rest on the scientist alone but on all in the sector.

“One of the challenges we have with seed production in Nigeria is not only in the production but in handling too, remembers that seed is a living entity, hence the storage is very importance as some farmers store their seeds with chemicals, kerosene, cements in their stores or in their boot of their cars packed in the sun and in the process kill the seeds.

“Sometimes, seed not germinating may not be the fault of the producers, but from the farmers’ handling of the seed before planting. That is while the training is for all stakeholders, so they can understand how to handle seeds as a living entity.

Also, one of the facilitator and former Director, Seeds Inspectorate in the Council Mr. Bayo Agboola, urged the participants to ensure they sell certified seeds to farmers.

He went further toe explain some activities in the sector that constitute infringement and offences and the penalties. This is even as he encourages whistleblowing against such infringement.

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NASC trains officers on digital seed certification, onboard pilot license seed inspectors



The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC)has improved the capacity of 25 newly engaged officers on digital seed certification using the National Seed tracker platform.
This is even as the Council has onboarded the licensed Seed Inspectors in some selected pilot states.

Giving his opening remarks at the two-day training workshop on digital seed certification, the Acting Director General, Dr. Ishiak Othman Khalid, said the council is committed to building the capacity of newly recruited certification and scientific office with deep interest in the digital seed certification appraisal system to ensure the system is at par with international best practices.

He said the Council is committed to ensuring that seed companies have the best-improved productivity, increased competitiveness for their seeds in the global seed space, and increased crop yield to compete in the international space.

“Our fundamental focus as a Council is on progressive strengthening and transforming of the practices of stakeholders in the seed value chain, such that the value creation at each level of the chain creates enough vested interest for all players to keep the system going.

“As part of our commitment to ensure national food security through agricultural sustainability and development of the seed industry in Nigeria, the Council has a world-class molecular diagnostic facility which can detect pathogens, variety identification using SSR markers, train purity testing, zygosity test, transgenic detection in GMOs among other tests using diagnostics tools.

The national Seeds tracker is an ICT solution to integrate supply chain functions and life seed systems to the Next Generation. Its vision is to organize seed production information, enable seed quality monitoring and certification, and empower every seed value chain actor to foster sustainable seed production for high productivity and profit.

Also, the Director, of Seed Certification and Quality Control, Ubandoma Mohammed, said the training aimed to enhance the capacity of the newly employed staff, so they would be able to fit effectively into the workings of the Council.

“WE are moving with time due to the technology of the time, we are training on digital seed certification using the national seed tracker. We have gone ICT and our report is partly being covered by our staff on the field using ICT. This training is not only for our staff, we are scaling it down to other stakeholders and the seed companies too.

“The training is very important because the President has declared a state of emergency on the food sector, therefore tasking the Ministry to ensure food availability. As we are speaking now the ministry has commenced distribution of inputs to farmers.

These inspectors are those that would go to the field to ensure that what is been planted are good and that they are seeds the farmers can use to get a good harvest.,” he said.

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