Abuja, May 16, 2023: The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja, inaugurated the Revised National Agricultural Seed Policy 2022, towards ensuring food security in Nigeria.
The Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, at the inauguration of the policy , said that the policy would enable famers have access to improved quality seeds.
He said that the progressive and positive changes in the operations of the seed industry, necessitated review of the exercise.
Abubakar said that the document represented the efforts of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), and stakeholders towards ensuring that farmers have unrestricted access to best genetics to enhance their productivity.
” Let me reiterate that this revised policy has removed the ambiguous areas in the erstwhile 2015 National Seed Policy.
” It will strengthened the identified weaknesses and introduce innovation that optimized the regulatory, promotional and protection roles of NASC in ensuring that our esteemed farmers have access to improved quality seeds.
” Some of these include the introduction of SEEDCODEX as a quality authentication tool and traceability, aimed at curbing adulteration, participation of third party seed inspectors in the quality assurance process.
“Also, establishment of satellite and private seed testing laboratories and strategic seed banks to act as reserve and buffer stocks in case of food emergencies.
” As well as encourage active participation of women and youth in seed business along seed value chain among other innovations embedded in the new policy document,” he said.
The minister acknowledged contributions of stakeholders at both public and private sectors in enriching the contents of the new policy document.
” Seed is a critical input in enhancing farmer’s productivity and boosting the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through Agriculture,” he said.
Earlier, the Director- General, NASC, Dr Philip Ojo said the policy articulated in 2010 was aimed at encouraging private sector participation in varietal development, seed multiplication and seed sales.
He said the review process which commenced in 2021 with series of activities and consultations, had resulted in the development of a revised policy called “National Agricultural Seed Policy, 2022”
The D-G said the policy has leveraged on the advent of technology and innovations in the seed industry.
He said that the policy unveiled, would further enhance government efforts at ensuring that Nigeria is not only food secured, but a net exporter of agricultural produce among the committee of nations.
Ojo said that NASC would be committed to the full implementation of the policy.
In a remark, the Chief of Party, Mr Olumide Ojo, USAID Feed – the-Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity, said the policy is very significant to the seed industry.
He said it underscores the need to strengthen efforts to maintain quality seeds production.
Ojo was represented by Mrs Onomen Isikhuemen.
He said the document is aimed addressing issues of seed fraud, and increase awareness to improve healthy seed supply for agricultural productivity and food security in Nigeria.
” The Activity remains committed to strengthening Nigeria’s agribusiness enabling environment which is an important precondition for private sector investment in agriculture, ” he said.