The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has pointed out that Nigeria needs to become a member of the to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in order to reap the benefits of seed trade.
The D.G. of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, said the agency is working to make the country a full scale member of the OECD to enhance seed export.
He made the statement at the workshop on OECD seed certification in Abuja, stating that as a full member, Nigeria would key into the seed trade for it to be sold internationally.
Ojo explained that Nigeria would no longer be the dumping ground for seeds once the country becomes a member.
According to him “the OECD scheme is an international organisation in the seed trade … we have observer status now, we are trying to become a full scale member, so our products will key into that international seed trade.
“With what is going to happen, our seed is going to be sold anywhere, and seed companies will sell their seeds and increase income and economic prosperity for our country.
“After the training, the international experts will look at our facilities, and with that, we will pass all that it takes. We are all out to ensure we key into all those schemes around the world so that we can be at par with our colleagues
“This is the first step in the training, we are the regulators, after this, there will be a series of training, we are going to cascade this training to other levels. we are training seed inspectors and seed certification officers, they will now be the one to cascade the training to other stakeholders,” Ojo said.
Director of Seed Certification and Quality Control at NASC, Dr Ishaq Khalid, said for Nigeria to be a good player in international seed, it implies the country should belong to organisations as OECD.
He noted that the country would benefit economically as over 50 per cent of productivity was determined by seed.
“Looking at our population, we have above 200 million, that is why we need this, therefore, we must be up when it comes to the situation of food productivity, it should be of concern the productivity per unit area.
“If seed is that important, we need to face it very well, that is why international seed trade is involved, for Nigeria to be a good player in international seed, then it implies we should belong to organisations as this where they are standards.”