Government mulls patent seeds rights for research institutes
Contrary to the Act establishing the Agricultural Research Institutes (ARI), Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has disclosed plans to give them patent rights to produce and market improved seeds directly to farmers.
Nanono said this at the 2019 Farmers Field Day and Seed Fair, organised by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), in collaboration with SEEDAN and other stakeholders in Sheda, Abuja.
He acknowledged that despite that the Institutes were grossly underfunded to carry out their core mandate of research; they were already doing a lot in the area developing improved seed varieties.
For him, therefore, one way to bridge the gap and ensure that farmers have access to good quality seeds for increased agricultural output is to empower the research institutes to continue with their research on seed multiplication. He added that the move will also solve the incidence of sale of adulterated seeds, and increase the capacity of the research institutes.
“With about 70 million farmers in the country, agriculture holds the key to the development of Nigeria. Agriculture also holds the key to the economic and political stability of the country, and whatever needs to be done to promote agriculture, must be held in high esteem.
“I will also allow some group of people to come into seed production in this country, apparently most of our research institutes are doing a good job and producing good foundation seeds, but the seed multiplication companies are being adulterated, and at the end of the day, the research is rendered useless when it gets to farmers.”
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