NASC boss warns on unwholesome practices

Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, has warned stakeholders in the seed industry against unwholesome practices, saying the Council “will bite those engaging in the production, packaging and selling of fake seeds.” Ojo gave the warning yesterday when the management of the Blueprint Newspapers paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.

He said two convicts had been jailed in Kano state for faking the packaging of other seeds companies. He said with the importance of good quality seeds to the success of the agriculture industry in the country, the Council “is willing and ready to partner with Blueprint Newspapers for proper sensitisation of seeds stakeholders.” “We are saddled with the responsibility of regulating the seeds industry and to ensure that farmers across the nooks and crannies of this country get quality seeds because if there are good quality seeds, it will lead to seeds security in the country.

“And because of the strategic position of Nigeria, we are producing about 60% to 75% of the seeds in West Africa. And lots of other African countries have been coming to understudy what we are doing. So, we are developing our centres to centre of excellence, where countries can come for research and a number of development partners are actually coming to support us. “So, we want to partner with you so we can sensitise the farmers. Responding, the leader of the team and the Managing Editor of Blueprint, Mr. Clems Oluwole, said the visit was due to the important position the Council “occupy in the actualisation of the federal government’s vision in agriculture.”

He said: “We decided to pay you this courtesy because of the importance of the seeds Council to agriculture. We may have soil that is fertile and other necessary inputs, but if the quality of seeds is not good enough, it will amount to wasted efforts. “So, we want to use this visit to avail stakeholders in the sector of the opportunity to see the importance of the Council and how it can help to drive the sector, especially now that the government is diversifying. So, we want to avail you of the Blueprint space to sell the Council’s activities to stakeholders.”

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