The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) says it is set to control the circulation of adulterated seeds in Plateau which has been impeding bumper yields by farmers.
Dr Philip Ojo, the Director General of NASC, spoke at a stakeholders meeting organised by the council on Thursday in Jos.
The theme of the meeting is: “Availability of improved good quality seeds, panacea for increased agricultural productivity, profitability and sustainability’’.
Ojo, who was represented by Mr Agboola Adebayo, the Director of Seed Inspectorate of NASC, said the meeting was to enlighten stakeholders on the implication of circulating adulterated seeds and punitive measures on offenders.
“The new Seeds Act assented by President Muhammadu Buhari in June has given us greater power to deal with this set of people.
“The full wrath of the law will be on them and there is no hiding place for them.
“It is not going to be business as usual for seed adulteration, fakers and emergency dealers in Nigeria. For first offenders with mild cases, they will have a jail term of one year.
“For perpetual or recalcitrant offenders, they will have a jail term of two years which may come together with a fine.
“For first offenders, they have a fine of N1 million and for perpetual offenders, they have a fine of N2 million,” he said.
Ojo said that the workshop was to enlighten stakeholders on the sections of the Seeds Act that dealt with the seed trade, importation and accreditation of seed companies.
He said participants would be enlightened on the procedures required for seed business, farmers’ rights and appropriate channels to address their grievances and get compensation.
Mr Sola Adelere, the Regional Director, North Central, NASC said that agricultural inputs and operations revolved around the use of quality seedlings.
”There have been reported cases of seed adulteration in Plateau leading to poor yield in farm produce. This also has negative effects on agricultural productivity and threatens food security,” Adelere said.
Mrs Halima Panwal, the Deputy Director, Agricultural Services, Plateau Ministry of Agriculture said that NASC should conduct viability test on seeds distributed by companies to ensure they had expiry date, yield projection and duration for seed maturity.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting included farmers associations, women groups, NGOs and government officials. (NAN)
-Oct 3, 2019 @17:54 GMT |
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