From: AgroNature Admin
The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) on Wednesday read riot Act to dealers of substandard farm inputs such as seeds.
The Agency issued the warning during a briefing at the NASC headquarters in Abuja stressing that any culprit shall face court prosecution and could earn jail term.
NASC Director General, Dr. Philips Ojo, speaking at the said the warning became imperative ahead of 2018 farming season.
According to him, offenders could be jailed for a year with N1 million fine while a two-time offender risk two years jail sentence and N2 million fine.
He said by the NASC Act 72 of 1992 the agency has the mandate to sanction erring individuals or corporate body.
Speaking on illegally imported vegetable seeds, the DG planned to partner with relevant government agencies including the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and Customs to end the act.
He stated further that it is illegal to market seeds in open containers or adopt use of fake labels.
“Let me emphasise that no one, whether a government agency, private, non-governmental, donor or individual, is permitted to do any form of activity or business relating to seed without the notification of the NASC. Just as it is against the law for anyone to organise a protest without the permit of the police,it is also a contravention of NASC Act No 72 of 1992 to organise production, distribution or marketing of seeds without the NASC accreditation or permission.
“In recent past, many agencies with genuine intentions of assisting the farmers and making Nigeria food secure have engaged in series of activities on seeds without the collaboration of NASC. These actions have resulted in the distortion rather than positively impacting the seed system, thereby permitting some unscrupulous people to hijack the process and defraud our dear farmers.
“Against this background, henceforth, all agencies that must engage in seed activities at the federal, state and local government levels must get NASC clearance before commencing such activities. This directive applies to all international support agencies who, at various times and from various sources, procure seeds using their international procurement criteria without recourse to the laws of Nigeria,” Dr. Ojo added.
The DG revealed helplines, 07000073337, 070000SEEDS to assist farmers with credible information.