From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has revealed its intention for the country to be a full member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in order boost seed production and export.
Director-General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr Philip Ojo, stated this at the workshop on international OECD seed certification recently in Abuja
Ojo said Nigeria being a OECD member would help the country tap into the international seed trade for seeds to be sold outside the shores of Nigeria.
This is even as he assured stakeholders that the country will no longer be dumping ground for adulterated seeds from other countries.
He said: “The OECD scheme is an international organisation in the seed trade that we are joining, we have observer status now, we are trying to become a full scale member, so that our products will be able to key into that international seed trade.
“With what is going to happen now, our seed is going to be sold anywhere, and also, our seed companies will be able to sell their seeds and increase income and economic prosperity for our country.
“After the training, the international experts will look at our facilities, and with that, we will pass all that it takes. We are all out to ensure we key into all those schemes around the world so that we can be at par with our colleagues all over the world.
“This is the first step in the training, we are the regulators, after this, there will be a series of training, we are going to cascade this training to other levels. we are training seed inspectors and seed certification officers, they will now be the one to cascade the training to other stakeholders.”
On his part, Director, NASC’s Seed Certification and Quality Control, Ishaq Khalid, stressed that the country would hugely benefit from OECD membership.
“Looking at our population, we have above 200 million now, that is why we need this, therefore, we must be up when it comes to the situation of food productivity, it should be of great concern the productivity per unit area.
“If seed is that important, we need to face it very well, that is why international seed trade is involved, for Nigeria to be a good player in international seed, then it implies we should belong to organisations like this where they are standards,” he said.