The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) on Friday sensitised farmers and residents of Gwagwalada, a satellite town in the FCT on the use of improved quality planting seeds to ensure increased agricultural productivity.
Dr Philip Ojo, the Director General of the NASC led staff of the council, board members, directors of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of sister agencies on a road walk.
The march was tagged: NASC 2019 Road Walk for Quality Seed Awareness and the theme: “Making quality seed available, accessible and affordable to Nigerian farmers’’.
Speaking to newsmen, the D-G said that the walk was organised annually to create awareness to the general public on various efforts made by the council to ensure that Nigerians have increased agricultural productivity.
He said the march was the beginning of a series of activities to usher in the seed week.
“It is an introduction to series of events to raise public awareness and sensitise farmers to embrace the use of good quality seeds as a means of increasing their productivity.
“This year’s activity is unique and we are taking advantage of the high population of farmers in Gwagwalada to educate them to understand and take advantage of immense benefit of good quality seeds.
“We have carefully chosen to reassure farmers that NASC is trying its best to ensure that they have adequate access to improved quality seeds at affordable prices,’’ he said.
Ojo also sensitised farmers in the area council on the technology deployed by NASC to ensure that farmers were assured of any seed package from agro dealers.
He also enlightened farmers and residents about how the seed codex technology worked and how farmers could ascertain genuineness of seeds they bought.
“We have brought in the national seed tracker system to monitor and track all seeds produced even to the shelf of the agro dealers to ensure that only certified seeds are available,’’ he said.
Dr Rose Gidado, the National Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Nigeria said agriculture had to be taken as a serious business.
She said that technology was the key to improved seeds where farmers stood to benefit.
She said that agriculture was all about having good harvest and increased yield in order to get profit that would empower farmers.
Gidado, also a board member of the NASC said that they were there to support the march as they always did in the past to enable farmers have access to improved seeds.
Mr Ajayi Rotimi, the FCT Coordinator of FADAMA project said that the FCT FADAMA became a certified seed producer courtesy of the relationship with and approval of certification by the NASC.
“Because of improved variety of seeds we got from the seed council, we were able to increase our production with a hundred percent,’’ he said.
He also said there was nothing more dangerous as having a bad set of seeds.
“All your efforts will be to no avail and if you cannot satisfy the quality of the seed you are using you will realise all your labours are in vain,’’ he said.
Earlier, a board member, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa who declared the march open said that he was happy that the NASC management carried along all stakeholders, especially the young ones and students.
He said that there was need for farmers to understand the difference between farming and improved seeds, adding that planting improved seeds would lead to bumper harvest.
The walk ended at the Area Council Secretariat and they were received by the Chief of Staff. (NAN)