By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—FARMERS in Bayelsa State have been cautioned by the National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, against using adulterated seeds, stressing that only improved and certified seeds would guarantee crop productivity and boost the income of the farmers.
South-South Regional Head of NASC, Mr. Mmoeyak Usua, who gave the advice in Yenagoa at a one day sensitization and awareness workshop for farmers and stakeholders in the state on the importance of improved seed in boosting agricultural productivity, emphasized that good quality seeds have been recognised as the most important input in boosting agricultural production.
He said that the desire of the agency was to build a market driven seeds industry for the production and distribution of high quality seeds that will be available and accessible to all Nigerians and advised farmers to patronize only certified seeds vendors.
Mr. Usua said: “One of the greatest challenges in Nigeria today is low agricultural productivity which is largely due to low uptake and usage of quality seed of improved crop varieties with other related inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides.
“Good quality seed has been recognised as the most important input in boosting agricultural production and accelerating achievement of the National Food Security Programme.”
It has been estimated that over 50 percent of improvement in agricultural production come from the use of improved seed.
“In order to achieve the National Seed requirement estimated to be over 350,000 metric tons and also in order to attain the current administration’s effort in diversification of the economy from oil to agriculture there is need to educate and enlighten the various stakeholders in the seed industry so that seeds could be made available to our farmers.”