Nigeria exports 70 per cent of its agro-seeds to West African countries – NASC
The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) says Nigeria exports over 70 per cent of its improved seeds to other West African countries.
Mr Mmoeyak Usua, the Council’s South-South Regional Head, said this while speaking with journalists in Yenagoa on Monday.
Usua, who harped on the use of improved and certified seeds, said that increased usage of the seeds by the country’s farmers would facilitate plans to boost agricultural productivity and the farmers’ income.
While commending the efforts of Nigerian farmers in agricultural production, the NASC official, nonetheless, stressed that the importance of improved seeds to agricultural productivity could never be over-emphasised.
“Nigeria now exports improved seeds to other West African countries; over 70 per cent of the improved seeds, used by farmers in the sub-region, come from Nigeria,’’ he said.
Usua pledged the commitment of NASC to building a market-driven seeds industry, so as to facilitate the production and distribution of high-quality seeds which would be readily available and accessible to all Nigerian farmers.
“One of greatest challenges facing Nigeria today is low agricultural productivity, and this is largely due to low uptake and usage of quality-seeds of improved crop varieties, as well as other related inputs such as fertiliser and pesticides.
“Good-quality seeds have been recognised as the most important input in our efforts to boost agricultural production and accelerate the achievement of the National Food Security Programme.
“It has been estimated that over 50 per cent of improvement in agricultural production come from the use of improved seeds.
“To achieve the National Seed Requirement, estimated to be over 350,000 tonnes, and accomplish the present administration’s efforts to diversify the economy from oil to agriculture, there is need to educate and enlighten the various stakeholders in the seed industry.
“The reason for enlightening the various stakeholders is to create an avenue for making quality seeds available to our farmers,” he added.