Nigeria gets electronic seed platform

Ene Okwanihe, Abuja

An electronic platform on seeds in West Africa has been launched to boost access to quality seed production in Nigeria and the sub region.

The electronic platform www.wasix.net is being positioned to be a rallying point for seed producers, authorized distributors, seed traders and stakeholders of the seed industry.

It also meets the challenge of information on seeds and increases farmers’ chances of access to quality seeds to improve food production and enhance food security.

The platform will help improve the practice of seed quality analysis and the official catalog of seed varieties.

Farmers will so be able to connect to seed producers, distributors and stakeholders in the seed industry for high yield seeds, which is important to increased productivity and food security.

Speaking at the launch, the Director General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council, Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo said the launch is to improve seed trade in the West African region.

“It is my belief that the provision of such a facility within the ECOWAS community will not only promote regional seed trade but also improve access to genetic materials officially released by countries within the sub-region.

The provision of the platform therefore will certainly open up the seed trade barriers within the sub-region; promote healthy competition amongst the actors and by implication create jobs and wealth, food security and improve our revenue earnings, which is in line with the policy direction of this administration on economic diversification and job creation.”

The website provides the farmer with information such as the origin of the seeds, the type, availability and country of availability.

The goal of the launch in seven West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, Mali, Senegal and Nigeria, is to contribute to the sustainable improvement of agricultural productivity in West Africa through actions that will increase the use of high yield seeds from the current statistics of 12% in 2012 to 25% by 2017.

The platform was initiated by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural  Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) in collaboration with the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).

 UO