Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has donated some rice field inspection equipment and outfits worth over N20 million to the National Agricultural Seeds Council(NASC).
Chief Representative, JICA, Nigeria Office, Mr. Nakagawa Takayuki, made the donation recently when he visited the headquarters of NASC in Abuja.
Takayuki explained that the donation was done by JICA in view of the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in fall of oil price and decline in the value of Naira in Nigeria.
He explained that this ugly development has increased the risk of food insecurity in the country, as the nation continues to import food for domestic consumption.
Some of the equipment donated to NASC include 37 units of GPS devices and field inspection outfits such as 85 units of PVC boots, 85 units of safety overall and 85 units of face shield.
Takayuki further said the Council would receive 33 sets of paddy quality assessment tools, adding that the tools would arrive Nigeria in early September, 2021.
Commenting on the purpose of the equipment, the JICA Chief Representative, said “NASC bears important responsibility in rice production, as NASC is the exclusive organisation responsible for the inspection and certification of seed breeders.
“As part of certifying the seeds, NASC dispatches its field inspection officers to the field where rice seeds are cultivated by seed companies.
“Thus, it is important to strengthen the capacity of field inspectors by increasing production of quality paddy seeds.