NASC Warns Farmers Against Buying Fake Seeds
As the preparation for rain-fed and irrigation cultivation of crops begin in January and February, farmers have been alerted to avoid buying seeds and seedlings without CODEX, a special number to be texted to a dedicated line to confirm authenticity.
This was disclosed by the director-general of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr Philip Olusegun Ojo, during the 2022 quality seed enlightenment programme to kick-start crop production in the South-West zone in Ibadan, last week.
He said, “If farmers have unhindered access to this type of seeds, we are sure that the agricultural productivity for 2022 will double that of 2021 in Nigeria.
“This is why I have personally decided to join our sister organisation, the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), the host of the secretariat of the National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breeds Registration and Release Committee and other stakeholders in Ibadan to witness the release of a number of new varieties of crops, which, very soon will be made available to farmers as vehicles to transform the country’s agricultural sector and mitigate the diverse challenges of climate change and even COVID-19.”
“We enjoin all farmers in the South-West and the entire Nigeria to make sure that they purchase seeds that carry the tag of NASC called the SEEDCODEX, which is the seal of quality authentication the NASC has deployed to sanitise the markets and rid them of fake and adulterated seeds.”
He explained that only reputable companies, in accordance to the NASC act, could gain access to the SEEDCODEX, and the tag is the output of the NASC electronic seed verification and authentication system that enhances the efficiency of seed certification and quality assurance scheme.
“Please let our farmers know that any certified seed offered for sale by anyone that does not carry this authentication tag with code affixed on them for farmers to scratch (just like the case with pharmaceuticals) and send to a dedicated number for instant verification of the authenticity of the seeds must not be purchased,” he warned.
He led the Seed Inspectorate Department of the South-West Regional Office on raids of unauthorised seed outlets, and commended outlets dealing in only approved seeds with NASC codex.