Jos, (NAN) The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) says it will train 21 Youth corps members on seeds field certification with a view to ensuring quality and standard seeds production in the country.
Mr. Adelere Emmanuel, the council’s North-Central Zonal Coordinator, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jos.
Emmanuel explained that the 21 corps members, who are graduates of agriculture, would be drawn from the six states in the zone and the FCT.
He said that five corps members would be selected from Plateau, five from Niger, three from Benue, two each from Nasarawa and Kwara, three from the FCT and one from Kogi.
He said that the training would equip the corps members with the skills and knowledge of seeds field certification process.
According to him, after the training, the beneficiaries will assist the certification officers of the council in the inspection of fields of seeds producers/growers to ensure standard.
“In Plateau State alone, seeds growers are growing seeds on more than 1,521 hectares for three seeds companies namely Romarey Ventures Nig. Ltd, Reedall Integrated Services Ltd and Savanna Seeds and Livestock Ltd.
“We need to supervise them to ensure that they comply with minimum standard.“
According to him, the central goal is to make available and affordable quality seeds to farmers as a sure step towards attaining the goals of the Federal Government’s AgriculturalTransformation Agenda.
“This is because in agriculture, whatever inputs you bring in, seeds remain central.
“Whether you bring in fertiliser, herbicides and other inputs from land preparation to other aspects of cultivation, if you don’t have good seeds, your tireless effort will amount to nothing.’’
The coordinator said that the council was responsible for the multiplication of breeders’ seeds from research institutes thereby ensuring high yields.
“The council receives breeders’ seeds from various research institutes across the country and develops them to foundation which we then give out to the producers for multiplication.
“The companies further give the seeds out to their farmers (growers) who grow it for the companies; after which the seeds are harvested, packaged and sold to the farmers.
“It is our duty to certify the producers and thefields where the seeds are being grown.
“If adequately trained, the corps members, with our certification officers, would inspect the fields to ensure that the growers comply with minimum standard as stipulated by the council for quality assurance.
The zonal head expressed the hope that the training would cover the six geo-political zones of the federation, “in view of the increasing number of illegal seeds producers and growers, who plant just any type of seed without conformity to guidelines’’. (NAN)