Farmers to access 81,000MT of seeds

The Federal Government has said about 81,000 metric tonnes of seeds are ready for deployment to farmers for the planting season.

Director-General, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Ojo, who made this known yesterday during a virtual press conference, noted that the seeds would ensure that agricultural activities were not disrupted as a result of the lockdown imposed across the country.

Ojo listed the seeds to include rice, maize, sorghum, soyabean, cowpea, millet, groundnut, wheat, sesame and potato.

He said the Council planned to subsidise the prices of the seeds for farmers and collaborate with relevant agencies to get movement permit for seeds conveyance across the nation throughout this period of ban on intra-state movement.

According to him, “The Council will ensure subsidies only to be applicable to seed purchased from NASC approved seed companies and producers, and provide certification officers and seed companies with movement tags or permits”.

“To ensure that we clearly understand the challenges and impact of the COVID-19 on the seed sector, the NASC, in collaboration with Wageningen University and Sahel Consulting, introduced a survey (quick scan survey) commencing from the month of April to access first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on the seed sector.

“The Seed Council will,  therefore, be working with various stakeholders to implement various coping actions, which will help the sector to continue to function even in the midst of the crisis,” Ojo added.

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