The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a revised National Agricultural Seed Policy for Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmood, said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development presented a memo today on our revised 2022 National Agricultural Seed Policy. Before now we have been operating on the 2010 policy, which was revised in 2015. And we just also revised that again to 2022.
Giving reason for the review, the Minister said: “Why the revision For seeds?; what you plant is what you reap. With the current continuous development in technology, seeds are always being upgraded to standardize four to five with several vitamins. There’s also the issue of genetically modified organisms or seeds, if you will.
“So, this revision seeks to confirm with global best practice in yield. Our farmers must have access to best quality seeds that have been fortified, seeds that can produce the yield that will be worth their while, seeds that can produce again and the produce that come can compete in the world market. This is the basis for this particular policy,” he said.
He said the National Agricultural Seed Council will be responsible for the implementation of the policy.
“The implementing agency is the National Agricultural Seed Council of Nigeria. The same agency works with the department within the Ministry, also works with other agencies and MDAs that are also involved in some ways with agriculture, work with civil society organizations, international agencies,” he said.
The minister said Nigeria holds an annual seed summit that places a searchlight on seeds that come into the country from other nations.
“Nigeria every year holds a summit that we call Seed Connect. This is an international summit that discusses and focuses on improving development in seeds from around the globe.
“So, seeds are really very important, very critical, as you all know the agricultural sector forms a great part of the GDP of this country and all that we focus on is smallholder farmers. We distribute good quality seeds to them for free.
“We make sure that any seed that is coming into the country also, is subjected to decentralization. We have a system that is called Codex, and we’ll make sure all seeds that will be taken to the market have these Codex, they have gone through our screening,” he said.