From: AgroNature Nigeria
The Chief of Party, West Africa Seed Programme, CORAF/WECARD, Dr. Ernest Asiedu has applauded Nigeria for its immense contribution to growing West Africa seed market from $.23 billion in 2013 to $27.8 billion in 2017.
He commended the nation stressing that the success of the West African region in terms of seed production will largely be determined by success story of Nigeria.
He spoke during a 2-day Seed Connect Africa Conference and Expo organised by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) in Abuja.
The conference with theme, ‘The Nigerian Seed Industry: Evaluating the Seed Sector and Developing a Sustainable Framework to Bolster the Growth of the Seed Industry’ has over 300 participants from Ghana, Niger Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Switzerland, and others, with over 26 companies showcasing their seeds.
Asiedu explained that the nation remained at the forefront in terms of producing seeds such as maize, rice, cowpea, sorghum and millet to the tune of 267, 000 tons.
His Words: “In terms of production of seeds, Nigeria is leading with a total quantity ranging as at 2017 produced maize, rice, cowpea, sorghum and millet. The total was about 267, 000 tons. In 2011, we were at 40, 000 tons in the region, so we have seen a very rapid growth in the region.
“In 2012 and 2013, the market value was about $.23 billion and as at 2017, we have moved to about $27.8 billion with a potential of $1.7 billion market in the region per year.”
Speaking further at the conference, he stated that the Nigeria contributes between 60 and 70 per cent of seeds needed in the West Africa region.
In his remarks, NASC Director General, Dr. Philip Ojo revealed that Nigeria seed sector is capable of generating N2.22 trillion in three years if potentials of the sector can be well harnessed.
He said it will require 10,355 metric tons of Early Generation Seeds (EGS) to produce 918, 743 metric tons of Certified Seeds which will in produce 103, 079, 253 metric tons of food from 46, 250, 733 hectares for the next three years.
This according to him will in turn add N2.2227 trillion to the economy and employ 18,500,293 farm families along agricultural value chains.
He also states that National Seed Bank is being established at the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) to preserve genetic diversity of the store seeds.
“This will give NASC opportunity to collect and store all released varieties of different crops in the Seed Bank. Also, Ambient temperature room has been installed to preserve the seeds for a very long time and serves as a fall back in case of any disaster or emergency.
Narrating the achievement of the Council within the last few years, Ojo said efforts of the Council has yielded a lot of positive results notably the increased private sector participation in the industry between 2012 to 2016.
“To this end the number of accredited seed entrepreneurs in Nigeria rose from 36 in 2010 to 157 in 2016 making Nigeria the leading seed industry in West and Central Africa and over 200 applications at various stages of approval /accreditation.
“The opening of these new businesses has created over 3.5million seasonal jobs across the seed value chain in Nigeria,” he said.