The Association of Seed Scientists of Nigeria (ASSN), has urged the government and relevant organizations to encourage farmers to imbibe the use of high-quality seeds in farming.
The ASSN President, Prof. Moruf Adebisi, made the call during the association’s 6th annual conference held at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan.
Adebisi said less than 20 percent of farmers in Nigeria and Africa had access to good quality seeds. According to him, this has made the quality of their yields decline significantly. Adebisi stressed the need for the government to strengthen agricultural extensions to sensitize farmers on the importance of using quality seeds in their farms.
According to him, any agricultural development without improved and high-quality seed is bound to be ineffective, inefficient, and therefore, a wasteful effort. “Food security and sufficiency will continue to be a mirage if government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders fail to pay strong attention to seed development, availability, and affordability,’’ he said.
In his address, Prof. Morakeyo Fakorede of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, described seed as a strategic input in achieving food security in a changing agricultural environment.
Fakorede urged the Federal Government to implement a predictable, reliable, user-friendly, and affordable regulatory environment for the flourishing and rewarding seed industry.
He called on the government at all levels to ensure that farmers had access to high-quality seeds at the right time, place, and at affordable prices.