THE National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has said that the Council had destroyed imported vegetable seeds worth about N40 million for not complying with packaging rules and presentations of false information on the product.
The Director Seed Inspectorate Department of NASC, Agboola Adebayo disclosed this while briefing journalists after a Sensitization Workshop on Compliance for Seed Companies organised by NASC in Abuja.
He said some of these seeds may be good, but because it does not have SeedCodex which is issued by the Council, it is seen as fake and should not be allowed for farmers’ use.
“If I want to be conversative, up till day, the vegetable seeds that we have siezed and destroyed should be about N30 million to N40 million because they were substandard and did not comply with the packaging rules and some were confiscated because of the false information on the back of the packaging materials.
“The vegetable seeds ranges from tomato, pepper, onion, melon, carrot, cabbage and others that were imported into this country to be marketed to Nigerian farmers but were not packaged and handled by the law.
“Some people may have good products, but they will not allow the products to follow due process before releasing it to the market, no matter how good the product is, it is still a bad product.
“Some of these products may be good, they may give farmers the yield they expected but because the importer or the dealer did not follow what the law says in terms of marketing of vegetable seeds in Nigeria, the Council still regards such seeds as fake and substandard and they are not to be sold to Nigerian farmers.
“It is like buying drugs without NAFDAC number, no matter the level of quality of the drug, people still refer to such drug as fake”, he said.
He said the workshop is pertinent because it brings together the regulator and the players in the seed industry where what the law says about vegetable seed business is relayed to the seed companies.
“This workshop is very important because it brings together the key stakeholders in the vegetable seed industry and the essence is to sensitize them about what the law says in vegetable business in Nigeria so that at the end, both the players and the regulators will be on the same page for the good of Nigerian farmers”, he noted.