The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has disclosed that the amount of fake seeds in circulation between 2012 – 2016 has decreased by 81 per cent.
Director General NASC, Dr. Philip Ojo, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at the second edition of the Seed Connect 2019.
He said the success was achieved through continued collaboration of relevant agencies which ensured that farmers got improved seeds on time to boost their productivity.
“With the position Nigeria occupies in the region, there has to be concerted efforts to ensure quality seeds are sold in the country. So much efforts have been taken by sensitisation and surveillance of the seed market, liaising with state government through collaboration with private partners.
“Continuous efforts have been made by NASC to curb these activities through market sensitisation and market raids for fake seeds before and during planting season.
“We are optimistic that the percentage of fake seeds in circulation will keep declining with more sensitisation and awareness campaign,” he said.
Ojo, however, said that in spite of the large quantity of seed produced currently, the country was still experiencing a wide gap between supply and quantity required.
“In 2018, the total certified seed produced for seven major crops, maize, rice, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut, millet and soybean was 72, 951 metric tonnes. But, the actual requirement was 422, 229 metric tonnes leaving a deficit of 349, 227 metric tonnes, worth over N130 billion.
“By year 2020, the requirement of certified seed will be 441, 800 metric tonnes which is approximately N143 billion. This is a huge business opportunity waiting to be tapped. This is also a huge space for private companies to key into,” he said.
The director-general explained that the conference was an opportunity for stakeholders across West Africa to connect with other countries to learn about seed business.
“It is something that is beyond Nigeria, that is why it is called seed connect Africa and this the second edition.
“The focus is to build upon what we did last year, looking at the gap that is in the industry, the potential and opportunities that are there for the seed companies to tap,” he said.