Nigerian Farmers have asked the Federal Government to put in place measure that would check the proliferation of adulterated seeds across the Country.
Speaking on behalf of the group at a media dialogue which held in Abuja, the National Vice President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Daniel Okafor, said, a majority of the products sold to farmers as seeds were below standard, stressing that a lot of dealers were selling seeds that were of poor quality.
Okafor urged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the NASC to set a penalty for dealers of adulterated seeds, and assured the full support of association in the fight.
Okafor further stated that Nigerian farmers should embrace the use of quality seeds and must stop patronising dealers of substandard agricultural commodities.
He said, “Our collaboration today with the NASC and PERL-DFID is to make Nigerian farmers to know that what many of them have in their farms as seeds are not quality seeds but mere grains. They should work towards having quality seeds as this is highly beneficial than using substandard ones”.
“Our major appeal, therefore, is that the government and the seed council should make sure that anybody who violates the rule by bringing in grains into the country to the farmers as seeds should be punished.”
Okafor also called for strong advocacy and aggressive awareness campaign among farmers on the use of quality seeds, and urged key stakeholders in the sector to take over the production of seeds, as the government could not do it all.
The Director-General, NASC, Ishaq Khaled, said the council would not relent in its efforts at clamping down on merchants, who flood the market with grains rather than quality seeds.