Through Intervention from the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has improved smallholder farmers' access to high-quality seeds while also increasing the acceptance of Nigerian seeds on the global market.
This was said by Dr Ishiaku Khalid, the acting director general of NASC, at a stakeholder review and validation meeting to share accomplishments made possible by AGRA and the Partnership for Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) support for the implementation of the NASC Act 2019 and the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021.
Dr Khalid said that AGRA has contributed to Nigeria's system of food security and has helped the council with employee development, laboratory setup, and equipment provision.
He claimed that with AGRA's assistance, the council was able to relocate its laboratories so they could test seeds similarly to other nations involved in the seed trade. He claimed that this would further boost the acceptance of Nigerian seeds around the world.
He remembered instances in which Nigerian agricultural products were rejected due to a lack of traceability, highlighting the fact that traceability begins with the seed and that consumers will often question a product's origin if they don't know where it came from.
The AG Director General emphasized the necessity of repositioning the council to close the gap since the final product will be defined by the quality of the seed, allowing for traceability from seed to final product.
He stated that while there are 500 seed firms in Nigeria, NASC has supported those that are qualified to open stores in rural areas so that farmers can have access to quality seed.
Dr Kehinde Makinde, the Country Director for AGRA, noted that AGRA has been assisting NASC with the implementation of the seed legislation and with creating a robust regulatory structure in Nigeria.
According to him, the purpose of the event was to introduce their partners to the bridge investment and better prepare them for implementation.