The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has intensified efforts to stem the spread of adulterated seeds across Nigeria.
This was the focus of a two-day training of seed inspectors and seed law enforcement officers. The council, which draws its existence from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, has repeatedly shown commitment to ensuring the use of healthy seeds by farmers.
The event, which was held at the National Agricultural Seed Council, Monatan, Oyo State, had as its theme: ‘Strategic Seed Market Surveillance and Intelligent Gathering: A Viable Tool for Effective Seed Market Regulation and Quality Seed Delivery.’
In his remarks, the Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council, Dr Philip Olusegun Ojo, who was represented by the Director for Seed Law Enforcement, Mr Agboola Adebayo, stated that “when it comes to the decision on seeds, the seed inspector’s role is crucial.
“The laws that regulate the seed industry must guide the seed inspector so that the Nigerian farmer can be better off. We understand your challenges as seed inspectors. You must be abreast of new technologies in the seed industry.
“We have a lot of seed inspectors all over the federation going through seed markets and actually ensuring that whatever seeds are up for sale meet the minimum standards. Erring seed dealers are arrested on regular basis and adulterated seeds are taken off the market. The council has no regard for anyone, especially in the lawful discharge of its responsibilities. We have prosecuted offenders. We are working towards certification tag for farmers to be able to detect any adulteration.”
Some of the seed inspectors who spoke at the event commended the council for the gesture, stressing that it had become needful to arrest the untoward attitude of many unscrupulous individuals who go spreading adulterated seeds.
The event had participants from states from the South West and the South East.
The DG also stated that the council has continued to work with security agencies in ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book.
Representative of the Oyo State commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Joseph, gave the commitment of the agency in working with the council to guarantee a safe society rid of adulterated seeds.
Regional head, Seed Inspectorate, South West region, Mr Kunle Adesekun, lauded the import of the training. “The training is important because the present government deems it necessary to invest in agriculture. Seeds are important to development of agriculture. The ultimate goal of any society is to have a society well fed. Quality seeds and effective surveillance are important. Food security is tied to availability of quality seeds,” he said.