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Nigeria Targets Massive Seed Export, Joins OECD

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The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has commenced a move to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which will give way for Nigeria to explore the global seed industry.
This move is also expected to allow more foreign seed companies to produce seeds in Nigeria and sell to other countries, having the backing of OECD.
At the end of Practical training of Seed Certification Officer in Abuja by NASC, in conjunction with OECD, the Director General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, told journalists that the training is an OECD seed scheme capacity building programme to train seed certification officers on the standard and certification scheme and inspection activities of OECD.
“The reason is that we in the industry must be part of the global structure, and the way to go is that the OECD scheme  seed companies here can participate in International seed trade, and there are rules and regulations concerning this, that is exactly what this training is all about”, Dr Ojo stated.
He said a total of thirty persons have been trained so far, adding that “we have many seed certification officers, this is train the trainer training”, he added
Director Seed Certification and Quality Control at NASC, Dr Ishaq Khalid, said the aim of the training is for Nigeria to take advantage of global seed trade.
He said Nigeria, today, has a restricted market in West Africa for seed trade due to a standard issue which is currently being addressed.
“We are principally targeting seed trade. If you observe our market, particularly the vegetable seeds, we hardly have made in Nigeria seeds. You will see all vegetable seeds standard and substandard from every part, making this place a dumping ground.
“Nigeria has to take its place in the global seed industry. It is a source to also earn foreign exchange. We encourage foreign investors to come and produce the seeds here and market in other countries because we want to create jobs.
“The question of substandard seeds will also phase out because if you are a member of OECD, if your seed is coming to Nigeria, it must not be below the minimum standard.
“Nigeria has started some level of international seed trade, particularly within the West African Sub Region. We were not able to go further because they do not believe in our standard.
“Now that we are aspiring to be member of the OECD, they will not be looking at our seed like Nigerian standard, rather as OECD standard.
“In Nigeria we already have some international seed companies, so they know that anywhere they go to trade these seeds, they will be OECD standard, our indigenous companies are not doing badly too, we want them to very used to this standard”, he noted.

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Agriculture

NACGRAB To Receive Further Support From Crop Trust – Bank

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l Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) will continue to receive support from its development partners, Global Crop Diversity Trus (Crop Trust) and KfW.
According to the Portfolio Manager, KfW Development Bank, Carolin Kremneller, while speaking with The Tide’s source on the sidelines of the Technical Working Group of the Seeds for Resilience project, held at NACGRAB office, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital recently, Crop Trust and KfW Development is supporting five gene banks in Africa, of which NACGRAB is part.
“We are here  today in NACGRAB on a monitoring visit to see the project activities which we are implementing under this project. And we are also here to see their facilities, to exchange views with NACGRAB staff and also to know what challenges they are facing and see how we can overcome the challenges.”
Speaking on the progress recorded so far on the project, Kremneller, also stated that, “There has been good progress when it comes to training of staff which was conducted despite the challenges
“Although we are aware that there are some challenges such as laboratory equipment which is quite outdated and that is also something we are trying to access through our project funds.
“This project will still run for two more years and there are activities planned which include for example to equip NACGRAB with necessary laboratory, we also learnt the cold room is not up to standard. These are some of the already planned activities in the course of this project.”
Activity Leader, Seed for Resilience Project, Nigeria, Dr Bisi Alamu, while speaking with our source, said, “Presently, we are running farmer management nurseries in project States such as Oyo, Niger and Kano States. Specifically on cowpea and sorghum in different locations among the clusters that were established in order to promote the Seeds for Resilience project.”

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Agriculture

UN, FG Pick 13 States For Agric Scheme

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The United Nations, through its Food and Agricultural Organisation, in partnership with the Federal Government, has selected 13 states for intervention in the production of crops such as rice, sorghum, soybean, etc, and dairy.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar, disclosed this in his speech at the official inauguration of the National Steering Committee on the FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative in Nigeria.
The Minister explained that the selection of states for the intervention was based on their potentials for import substitution, export promotion, comparative advantage, social inclusion, and demand gap on the national, continental and global scale.
“The Hand-in-Hand initiative takes cognisance of the country’s economic advantaged and disadvantaged areas in selecting the priority commodities for intervention in selected states.
“The guiding variables are states with ‘potential’ (high market-oriented, where investments are more likely to have an impact in the short term); ‘unrealised potential’ (areas with a high unrealised potential, where impact are more likely to be higher); and ‘poverty,’ (high levels of poverty for urgent intervention).
“Specifically, the programmme plan captures the following priority commodities: rice, sorghum, soybean, maize, fish, tomato, cassava and dairy”, the Minister stated.

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Agriculture

PHCCIMA, Others Woo Ikwerre Youths, Women On Agro-Business

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As a way of ensuring food security in Ikwerre communities and Rivers State in general, the President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Eze Mike Elechi, has called on the Ikwerre nation to return to commercial agriculture.
He made the call in his keynote address at the 2022 economic Summit, organized by Ikwerre Federated Union (IFU), themed “Agriculture to Agric- business”.
“Ikwerre people should be bold to take up career in agric business. Parents should go back to farm. Children should do so after their education. It does not remove anything from them.
“We will not die of hunger, forget exchange rate, forget economic tight situations.
“Exchange rate does not affect Agricultural production . Take my lecture into two. I want to do business out of agriculture, that is what is called agric business .
“At that time you are ready to make money with agriculture using knowledge and integrity.
“We are Ikwerre people and we have one resource, which is land and so we need go back and use those lands  for agric business”, he urged.
Another speaker, Dr. Victoria Wali, adviced Ikwerre people to be self-reliant when it comes to food production .
According to her, “Ikwerre must get up to become the food basket of the state, They  should all go back and practice what we have discussed today.
“If we do that, within  a short period, there must be an improvement on our personal lives and businesses.
“We know that it is always good to encourage oneself and not to rely on another person”.
Earlier, the President of Ikwerre Federated Union (IFU), Dr. Paul Wowor, said the economic summit was put together to encourage more Ikwerre people to get involved in Agric business.
“We are asking for all the Ikwerre Youths and women to go into Agriculture. From agriculture they grow to agric business.
“We want them to get to a point where they will be exporting yams, casava, cucumber, tomatoes and everything. We want to achieve this in five years time”, he said.

By: Lilian Peters

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