To boost food production in Nigeria, the African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) have unveiled a new seed company ECOBasic Seed Company.
According to the groups, the new seed company which was unveiled at the weekend in Abuja would produce foundation seed for the Nigerian and West African markets.
Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director of ECOBasic Seed Company, Mr Brighton Karume, said the initiative could help Nigeria close her demand and supply gap for maize by increasing the number of farmers that use hybrid variety seed from the current 10 per cent to about 50 to 100 per cent.
According to him, the development will double the country’s maize yield from the current two metric tonnes per hectare to over four two metric tonnes per hectare, thereby increasing the yearly production to about 20 million metric tonnes.
Karume said the company would provide quality and sustainable foundation seed solutions to hybrid companies and increase the productivity and profitability of seed companies and farmers in Nigeria.
On his part, the Executive Director of AATF, Dr Canisius Kanangire, noted that the company will afford farmers easy access to quality and pure seeds.
Kanangire stated that the company would produce, process, and supply high-quality foundation seed to companies across the Nigerian and West African seed markets.
“It is a strategic priority for every West Africa nation to be self-sufficient in agricultural food production, and the journey to food security begins with high-quality foundation seed with undiluted purity,” he added.
Also speaking, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof.
Abdullahi Mustapha, said over 90 per cent of the Early Generation Seed (EGS) – breeder and foundation seed – sourced in Nigeria comes from research institutions.
Mustapha, therefore, called for continued support for the research institutes in Nigeria.
Groups Unveil Seed Company to Boost Food Production in Nigeria