Nigeria unveils foundation seed solution company
By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation AATF in collaboration with the Federal Government, Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and other stakeholders have unveiled a start-up company in Nigeria dedicated to the production of foundation seed solutions for farmers and seed companies in Nigeria and the West African region.
The company, ‘ECOBasic Seed’ would increase the productivity and profitability of seed companies and farmers to bridge foundation seeds gaps.
At the opening ceremony in Abuja, the Managing Director, ECOBasic Seed Company, Brighton Karume, assured that the company would uphold the highest levels of confidentiality in every aspect of its operations.
Karume added that the company will catalyse the development of hybrid maize technology adoption rate in Nigeria.
He explained that the company will be providing the services of genetically pure foundation seed so that the genetic potential of the hybrids is realised while noting that ECOBasic will concentrate in Nigeria, while in the long run, it would target the greater Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS Region.
“It will target indigenous and international seed companies that produce certified hybrid seed. In the medium to long term, it will explore a range of opportunities to leverage its brand, increase its impact, customer-centric growth and generate additional revenue”
He however noted that the ECOBasic Seed Company would expand its product portfolio to include additional staple grain crops such as rice, cowpea, soybean and sorghum and will expand to new markets within West Africa.
“We will produce high quality foundation seed and ensure that our operations are efficient, effective and always exceed customers’ expectations”, he added.
In his remark, the Executive Director of AATF, Dr Kanangire Canisius, said ECOBasic seed company with its operational headquarters in Kaduna will be the second AATF supported company set up to support early generation seed development.
The first he said is the QualiBasic seed company based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Canisius said the company is coming to fill a very important gap in seed sales and distribution in the region.
On how and why the company was conceived, he said the ECOBasic Seeds Company Limited was established following a series of interactions with strategic stakeholders in the seed sector in Nigeria that identified the need for a focused intervention in the production and sales of Foundation Seed in the country.
In an interview with journalists, president of the Nigerian Agro Inputs Dealers Association of Nigeria NAIDA, Kabiru Fara, said the company would address challenges around foundation seeds and its availability.
He said the seed company will address the issues around availability of foundation seeds so that the seed producers will have enough to give to farmers.
“By the time we address the Nigerian issue, we are going to West Africa. This will assist food security as we will give farmers quality seeds”, he said.
The company was launched by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Professor Garba Sharubutu who represented the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.