The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) says it will be committing about $2 million to fund the production of quality early generation seeds for farmers across the country.
Mr Kehinde Makinde, Country Manager, AGRA, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at a meeting organised by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) in collaboration with AGRA.
Speaking at the Increasing Production and Dissemination of Quality Early Generation Seeds (EGS) Makinde said that the support to NASC and other seed companies would improve income and food security in the country.
He said that the support AGRA would be giving to the seed council would ensure a better regulation of seed companies, as well as provide support for the available EGS.
According to him, with the project of detecting the circulation of fake seeds, farmers will determine the source of seed they buy.
“If you look at the seed Industry, there is a need for transparency. Farmers need to know who are producing seeds to ensure that they get quality seeds at the end of the day.
“So, what we are doing here is to bring visibility to the farmers and transparency to different actors so that people can trace the quality of seeds bought and be assured that their money is not wasted.
“So, if you do not have a clear mechanism that provides transparency and visibility, a lot of people will bring in fake seeds and such will affect our productivity in the country.
“Financially, AGRA will be providing about $2 million for NASC and two other seed companies to achieve the aim and objective of the project,’’ Makinde said.
The Country Manager added that the project initiative was a consortium of partners known as Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa, with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and Rockefeller.
Earlier, Dr Philip Ojo, the Director General, NASC, said that the project would ensure that traffickers or people who always sold counterfeit seeds were countered.
Ojo said that the council would further ensure that only good quality seeds were made available to farmers at every given time.
“That is why we are partnering AGRA and service providers to ensure that quality seeds get to farmers, and to enable farmers know that what they are buying is authentic to improve productivity and food security.
“The project will improve the livelihood of farmers, through increase in their harvest. The dissemination of the early generation seed has been the problem of the seed industry,’’ he said.
Ojo added that more than two million farmers would be reached in the project.
On his part, Mr George Mwangi, Head, Finance and Administration, Value Seed Limited, lauded the project, adding that this was an opportunity to expand the seed sector and increase food production.
By Philomina Attah