The Federal Government, has, stated that the country needs a seed industry revolution to help in the revitalization of the agricultural sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, revealed this in Abuja at the National Workshop on Developing a Rapid Action Plan for Quality Seed Production and Presentation of the Alliance for a Seed Industry in West African (ASIWA) in Nigeria.
Ogbeh, who said the need to balance the forces of supply and demand of high quality seeds was inevitable, pointed out that “the estimated annual seed demand in Nigeria for 2016 is about 350,000 MT for rice, maize and sorghum with an approximate seed industry value of N112 billion ($564 million).
“The 2015 annual production was about 122,000 MT valued at N43 billion ($216 million). This effectively translates into a supply-demand gap of about 231,000 MT valued at N81 billion ($409 million). Presently, the gap is filled through massive use of low quality seeds, such as farmers’ saved seed and supplies from unscrupulous seed merchants.”
Ogbeh who stressed the need to reverse the unhealthy situation in Nigeria in order to increase the productivity and competitiveness of Nigerian agriculture, generate more income for farmers through bumper yields and block the huge loss of funds within the system, said given the agro-ecological suitability for these major crops and availability of adaptable cultivars, resources and manpower, a seed industry revitalisation can be achieved with proper planning and coordination of the deployment of adapted varieties with yield potential of over 4.0 t/ha compared to the average 2.0 t/ha currently deployed on farmers’ fields.

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