Agric Council Warns Farmers Against Using Seeds Without CODEX
As the preparation for rain-fed and irrigation cultivation of crops begins, the Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr Philip Olusegun Ojo, has warned farmers against using seeds and seedlings without CODEX, a special number used in confirming the seeds authenticity.
Speaking at the 2022 Quality Seed Enlightenment Programme to kick-start crop production in the South-West zone in Ibadan, Dr Ojo said NASC was making efforts to ensure that only quality seeds get to the accredited suppliers who have met all the quality standards provided in the Seed Act, to enable farmers to access quality seeds.
He said: “If farmers have unhindered access to these types of seeds, we are sure that the agricultural productivity for 2022 will double that of the year 2021 in Nigeria.
“This is why I have personally decided to join our sister organisation, the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), the host of the secretariat of the National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breeds Registration and Release Committee and other stakeholders in Ibadan to witness the release of several new varieties of crops, which, very soon, will be made available to farmers as vehicles to transform the nation’s agricultural sector and mitigate the diverse challenges of climate change and even COVID-19.”
He also said the activities of unscrupulous elements who bypass NASC and the Seed Law to trade and market adulterated and uncertified seeds to farmers have reduced farmers access to improved varieties of seed that could boost food security.
He described their activities as acts of economic and national sabotage, saying NASC had, in the last three years, deployed technology and put in place mechanisms to step up surveillance and enforcement activities as entrenched in the NASC Act 21 of 2019, to ensure that only the best seeds are supplied to farmers.
“We enjoin all farmers in the South West and Nigeria to make sure that they purchase seeds that carry the tags of NASC called the SEEDCODEX, which is the seal of quality authentication that NASC has deployed to sanitize the markets and rid them of fake and adulterated seeds,”
The DG explained that only reputable companies following the NASC Act would access the SEEDCODEX, noting that the tag was a product of the NASC Electronic Seed Verification and Authentication System that enhances the efficiency of seed certification and quality assurance.
“Please, let our farmers know that any certified seed offered for sale by anyone that does not carry this authentication tag with code affixed on them for farmers to scratch (just like the case with pharmaceuticals) and send to a dedicated number for instant verification of the authenticity of the seeds must not be purchased by them,” he warned.
source Agro Nigeria: