Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), an agency in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, has delisted three companies for faking the packaging materials for seeds and seedlings.
The council said the companies have been delisted from operating in the industry and participating in any government for allegedly faking seeds and seedlings which unsuspecting farmers bought.
Its Director General, Dr. Philips Olusegun Ojo, who made this known in Asaba, Delta State, during a seed market sensitisation, explained that NASC is saddled with the responsibility of regulating the seed industry in Nigeria to ensure sanity.
Represented by the Director of Seed Inspectorate, Agboola Adebayo, Ojo explained that industry operators who do not adhere to standards are fined, prosecuted while their faked products are burnt at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
He stated that plans were on to make the sanction more severe, saying that there is an amendment bill waiting for the President’s assent which would increase the fine to N3 million.
“When that bill is signed by our president, any seed offender would pay N3 million. We have currently delisted three seed companies that faked packaging materials to deceive farmers.
“We also burnt confiscated seeds like how NAFDAC destroyed fake drugs. As a first time offender, the defaulter would pay fine and be warned, but if he is caught for the second time, the defaulter would be charged to court,” he stated.
He said that the exercise in Asaba was to sensitise farmers about the presence of fake seeds or seedlings, especially oil palm, adversely affecting the industry.