Director-General of National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Ojo has raised alarm over proliferation of adulterated seeds in the country.
Speaking in Abuja during a rally to promote adoption of improved seeds, Dr. Ojo said except such act is checked, it might hinder the Federal Government’s drive to attain food sufficiency.
He, however, noted that the campaign for rural farmers became imperative to adopt improved and high quality seeds. The campaign, which took place at the Eagles Square, Abuja, was witnessed by stakeholders in the seed sector, including seed firms and representatives from the National Bio-safety Management Agency (NBMA), National Biotechnology Agricultural Development Agency (NABDA), Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Voices for Food Security, Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), among others.
The DG appealed to Nigerians to join in the campaign against adulterated seeds, thus “Let’s walk together and tell the story that only quality improved seed is the way out of food security.”
According to him, the rally was part of activities to celebrate the National Seed Fair and Farmers’ Field Day.
Some of the participants carried placards with inscriptions, such as, “Don’t plant grains as seeds”, “We are marching against seed adulteration and sale of fake seeds”, and Fake seed dealers are economic saboteurs and criminals”.
“It is in pursuant to its vision that the NASC is organising this march for improved seed adoption to create awareness for enhanced adoption and use of improved seed to increase demand and drive production of adequate quantities of improved seeds that are accessible and affordable,” he added.
OFAB Country Director, Dr. Rose Gidado said the use of improved quality seeds remain the only solution to addressing hunger and increasing agricultural productivity. She noted that the seeds are capable of providing farmers with bountiful harvests and should be well adopted.
The rally is expected to be carried out across the six geo-political zones of the country.