Government to arrest of substandard seed producers, importers
The Federal Government said it has set up a task force to arrest and prosecute producers and importers of substandard seeds.
It also read riot acts to farmers who engage in the production and sales of seeds without registering them at the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), warning that they either desist from the act or face the law.
Director General of NASC, Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, stated this at the inauguration of Regional Heads of Seed Law Enforcement Officers for South West, South East and South South in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said government is determined to ensure that farmers have quality and high standard seeds because agriculture has become the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
According to him, the National Agricultural Seeds bill of 1992 applies to activities relating to seeds and planting materials in seeds production, distribution, quality control, certification, as well as marketing of seeds materials.
The Director General noted that the law was established to regulate the production, marketing, trade and use of seeds in Nigeria, adding that no Federal agencies, private, individual or non-governmental organisation is permitted to carry out any form of activity relating to seed without notifying NASC.
He said despite campaign against the distribution of adulterated seeds to farmers, there have been more cases of such act among some dealers and seed producing companies, explaining that such seeds cause low yield of farm produce.
“We wish to clearly state that henceforth agencies that must engage in seed activities both at the Federal, state or local council must get clearance from NASC before commencement of such activities.
“This directive applies to all international support agencies, who at various times procure seeds, using their international procurement criteria without necessary recourse to the laws of Nigeria,” he said.
The DG said the council had accredited 157 seed companies of different categories, which include four large-scale, nine medium scale and about 67 small-scale seed companies.