Seed Stakeholders Converge On Abuja For Seed Connect Africa Conference

Seed Stakeholders Converge On Abuja For Seed Connect Africa Conference

 
By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja
Stakeholders in the seed sub sector across Africa and around the world have converged on Abuja Nigeria’s capital city for the fourth edition of the Seed Connect Africa 2021 conference and exhibition with focus on building better partnership for the seed industry in Nigeria.

The two days conference organized by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in Nigeria is the largest gathering of seed industry stakeholders in Africa and the 2021 edition to deliberate on issues that affect the seed subsector in Nigeria, Africa and the world.

It creates a platform for seed networking between countries and the exhibition during the conference affords farmers a one on one interaction opportunities with seed companies.

FOOD SECURITY HINGED ON SEED SECURITY
In his special address at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Dr.

Mohammad Abubakar said the government is putting in place modalities that  would strengthen and ensure a robust seed system which would in turn impact Nigeria agricultural production positively and continuously sustain the food system.

He explained that without a solid seed system the agricultural growth would be hampered while noting that food security is hinged on seed security.

“The importance of seed in achieving a sustainable Agricultural revolution is sacrosanct.

The growth of this sector would be hampered without a proper structured seed system to support the industry”
 
“Over time, we have agreed that seed is the starting point of any Agricultural revolution and a panacea for food and nutritional security.

You will agree with me that Food Security is hinged on seed security, and seed security is hinged on rock-solid seed systems”
“That is why we are building on past policies that rode on seed systems to achieve incredible impact on agricultural development in Nigeria” He added
Dr.

Abubakar noted that there is a need to join forces together to build strong and sustainable seed delivery system, from research programmes to, variety release, commercial seed multiplication, seed quality assurance, seed haulage logistics, and seed utilization emphasizing that working in isolation will only make the value chain break, causing unprecedented systemic disruptions.

SEED CONNECT IMPACTS NIGEIA’S SEED INDUSTY
The Director General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council Dr.

Philip Ojo said the Seed connect conference over the years has greatly impacted the Nigerian seed sector by helping the Council achieve some progress in the sub sector.

“Your articulate and robust ideas have helped in shaping the Nigerian Seed industry.

At this juncture, permit me to report on the progress we have made on some of the bright ideas and decisions we made from the previous editions of SEEDCONNECT Africa”
“The Introduction of a plant variety protection (PVP) law in Nigeria (PVP Act 2021) – this journey, we started in 2018 shortly after the first edition of SEEDCONNECT AFRICA 2018, the amendment of the NASC Act with the introduction of stiffer penalties and solid foundation for the introduction of technology to police the Seed Industry.


On reviving the agriculture sector and the country’s economy in a post COVID-19 era, Dr.

Ojo said the National Agricultural Seeds Council in Nigeria is working to support the government to ensure a stable and sustainable food system.

“The NASC recognizes these facts and is working hard, in collaboration with various partners to ensure we create a sustainable and robust seed system in Nigeria and beyond capable of withstanding shocks such as those brought in by the novel Covid-19 pandemic”
ISF
The Secretary General of International Seed Federation ISF Mr.

Micheal Keller in his goodwill message said to end world hunger there is a need for seed security and farmers should also have a choice of hybrid varieties to choose from.

“this is not only seed security, this is seed choice, the farmers should have the opportunity to choose seeds we are saying the private sector should or should not use commercial varieties, no but we are saying is we need to build seed resilience and seed reliance for us is the adoptability and capacity to contribute to food and nutrition security”
NETHERLANDS
On his part, The Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria Mr.

Van Dijk said the Netherlands is partnering and supporting Nigeria on the National Seed Programme as Nigeria is a key player in the seed sub sector.

“That is why we decided to invest in multiple seed projects in Nigeria under the Nigeria and the Netherland programme, in our collaborative seed programme for example we jointly work with NASC and SEEDAN to support the implementation of the seed sector development strategies, the so called National seed programme”
The theme of the 4th seed connect Africa conference 2021 is “partnership for a resilient and robust seed industry in Nigeria”
Seed Stakeholders Converge On Abuja For Seed Connect Africa Conference

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