The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has presented stakeholders with a 5 year Strategic Plan Document which it wants to use in revitalizing the seed sub-sector in Nigeria.
Seed which is the foundation of agriculture has been a major challenge the Nigerian agricultural sector is facing, as fake and uncertified seeds are visible in the open market.
The National Agricultural Seeds Council is saddled with the responsibility to regulate seed production and distribution in the country.
The Director General of NASC, Dr Philp Ojo while addressing stakeholders at the Review and Validation of a 5-year Strategic Plan Document of the Council, said the document aims at strengthening the capacity of the Council to discharge its responsibilities in coordinating and regulating the Nigerian Seed industry.
According to him “about 5 Months ago, we began this journey, with the Support of AGRA and USAID, under the partnership for inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA). The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) Commissioned Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Limited to develop a five-year institutional Strategic plan aimed at providing the strategic direction for NASC.
“The Strategic plans aims to strengthen the capacity of NASC to discharge its responsibilities in coordinating and regulating the Nigerian Seed industry”.
Dr Ojo said without a comprehensive policy direction, the Council, as the apex regulatory body at the centre of Nigeria’s seed sector would be faced with serious challenges in achieving its mandate.
Addressing the stakeholders, he said “today’s workshop is mainly focused on you to review and validate these documents and ensure that they are aligned to the Green Alternative which carries hopes and aspiration of Nigerian Farmers to take the seed sector to the next level for the better”.
In her address, the representative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Dolapo Enejo noted that the strategic plan document would be leveraging on technology and digitization to ensure that smallholder farmers were carried along.
“If you look at what is happening currently with the digitization of the agricultural sector, you will understand that they are making great stride in Nigeria.
“If you are looking at the Seedcodex today, reviewing and trying to validate the strategy plan, you will see that it is leveraging on technology and leveraging on digitization to ensure that they create a globally competitive economy and to ensure that everyone is carried along not just the medium and large scale farmers, but the smallholder are the major priority”, she added.
The Country Manager of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Kehinde Makinde said the organization have been supporting NASC both financially and in technical support.
“Our work is to catalyze on agricultural transformation across Africa, we work in Nigeria and other countries too. In Nigeria, the NASC is one of our partners. Our basic work is to provide support, to work together with them to deliver on improved yields for farmers, improved income and improved livelihoods.
“The partnership is sometimes in terms of funding support, and sometime in technical support, so as part of the technical support, we have colleagues from the organization who work with NASC on different areas of activities which they have identified in their strategic plan”, Makinde noted.