Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Federal Government has again urged farmers to patronise registered seed companies and agro-dealers to have improved agricultural yields.
The Director-General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Dr Philip Ojo, gave the advice during the 2020 Farmers’ Field Day at Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The field day which attracted stakeholders in the agricultural sector was conducted by the council in conjunction with Premier Seed, Dupond Pioneer and Bayer Seed companies.
Represented by the Regional Director (South-South), Mmoeyak Usua, Dr Ojo said the council received three varieties of improved maize from the partnering seed companies, which were planted on July 30.
He said with the yields from the maize varieties, ‘it was discovered that hybrids and improved seeds do better than open-pollinated seeds and even better than local materials. The hybrid yields more than local materials.’
Ojo noted that over 50% of improvement in agricultural production comes from the use of improved seeds.
‘In essence, no agricultural practice, be it fertilizer, pesticide application or irrigation can improve crop production beyond the limit set by seed.
‘It is pertinent to note that over 70% of Nigerians are involved in one agricultural venture or the other,’ he said.
According to him, some of the objectives of the demonstration were ‘to compare the superiority of hybrid seeds over open-pollinated seeds, and to compare the superiority of improved seeds over local materials.’
Ojo said NASC is an agency of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture with the mandate of regulating the Nigeria seed industry.