The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) says it will soon set up a modern seed market to check the poor quality of seeds in the country.
The Council’s Director General, Dr Philip Ojo made this known in an interview in Abuja on Monday when he disclosed that some unscrupulous seed entrepreneurs were defrauding farmers by selling fake seeds that had resulted to poor yields in the country.
He explained that it was illegal for anyone to sell seed in open containers without clearance by the seed council, adding that the Seed Act N0 72 of 1992 mandates only the Council to regulate the quality of seed for farmers to have improved yields.
According to Ojo, “The activities of fake seed dealers, which has become serious problem
to the Council and farmers, had led to the establishment of a modern seed market to get quality seeds for farmers to use.
“It is common knowledge that seed dealers now sell poor seeds or unregulated seeds to farmers in open markets. It is illegal for anyone to sell seeds in open containers or with
false labels or fake seeds in our markets.
“We are about to conclude the establishment of a modern seed market and working with stakeholders to commence the markets very soon. The first of which will be within the council’s headquarters, where farmers nationwide can get quality input near their areas of use.
“The market will provide the farmers with the right locations to get quality seeds in their area of use,’’ he said.
The DG noted that a lot of poor quality seeds come in through the borders without clearance by or declaration to the Council, adding that Council would partner with all government agencies and Nigerian Customs to check the quality and acceptability of seeds that come into the country.
While advising farmers to stop patronising open market seed markets, he urged seeds marketers that have no permit from the Council to register in order to legalize their business to avoid being prosecuted.
“I encourage farmers to do things differently this year to ensure a bumper harvest in 2018 by using only seeds from accredited sources,” he said.
Ojo warned that producers of fake seeds in the country risked two years jail term or an option of N2 million as fine, if caught.