From: Kazeem Biriowo, Abuja
The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) on Thursday organised a rally to create awareness against fake seed merchants.
The awareness campaign which commenced at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja continued to the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), at Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA).
Speaking at the rally, the Director General of NASC, Dr. Philip Ojo, said the rally was to create further awareness on the need for farmers to patronize quality seed in order to get bumper harvests, rather than patronizing fake seed dealers who will end up selling adulterated seeds.
The rally was also in preparation for the 2019 Seedconnect Conference and Expo scheduled to hold in Abuja from 15th-16th April 2019. Other partners during the rally includes, the NASC, Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnolgy (OFAB) and relevant civil society organisations.
Ojo said that the 2019 SeedConnect is expected to bring together relevant stakeholders from across and outside the country, to deliberate on a way forward on the use of quality seed for increased productivity and the introduction of farmers to new technologies.
He used the opportunity to warn fake seed peddlers to desist from the further sale of adulterated seed as the effects are huge against food security.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Chief Audi Ogbeh, said, farmers needed to key into the use of quality seed to better grow their crops.
He said this becomes imperative to also encourage better crop performance, thus reducing lost during harvest.
Ogbeh who was represented by the Director Cooperative Mr. Quadri Olalekan reiterated the ministry’s commitments to make perpetrators of fake seed face the law if cut as it is stated in the seed law yet to be passed.
The Country Director of OFAB, Dr. Rose Gidado, said that it was necessary for farmers to adopt the use of improved technology to ensure they achieve increased food production. She further advised farmers to buy quality seeds from recognized seed merchants.
Her words: “The only source of livelihood is the bumper harvest made by farmers, thereby employing that the use of improved facilities and technology be used by the seed merchants to encourage the farmers to produce more to meet with human consumption.”