The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has revealed that Nigeria produced 100,000 metric tonnes of seeds in 2020 mainly for consumption and for export to ECOWAS countries.
This was disclosed by, NASC DG, Dr Phillip Ojo at the launch of the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) ACT 2021 and Plans for Implementation on Thursday in Lagos, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The NASC boss revealed that 50% of all seeds produced in West Africa were from Nigeria, citing that the region depends on Nigeria for most of its seeds, and warned against dumping goods in Nigeria as it prepares for a continental trade agreement.
What the NASC DG said
Dr Ojo stated that 300 seed companies produce Nigeria’s seeds and with the implementation of the PVP ACT, the number may rise, as the act calls for the full implementation of the law to increase Nigeria’s international seed trade.
“We need the support of everyone and therefore, will continue to collaborate with partners both locally and internationally to ensure that we complete all the remaining milestones for full implementation of an efficient PVP system in Nigeria.
One important remaining milestone to deliver is the deposition of our instrument of accession to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).
This is the only requirement left to be met by the country in our quest to become a full member of UPOV. I wish to call on all our partners and stakeholders again to join us on this advocacy journey to get this process completed.
This process is what every other country with a serious desire to transform its agricultural sector is currently undergoing.
Nigeria and Ghana are closely following each other in the effort to become the next new member of UPOV to join Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Tanzania and other African countries who are already members of UPOV,” Dr Ojo said.
He added that Nigeria’s agricultural sector was a reason Nigeria needed to pay attention to its PVP (Plant Variety Protection system), stating that the law would incentivise national and multinational agribusiness investments in the country.
“As we all know, before now, Nigeria was one of the few countries in Africa that does not have a plant variety protection system.
In other words, Nigeria did not have an Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system (either a patent, effective sui generis system or combination systems) for plant varieties.
Today, this is no longer the case. I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for granting assent to this very important legislation.
I want to also thank the members and staff of the National Assembly, who worked tirelessly and closely with us toward achieving this very important milestone.
This missing law is now in place and requires few steps for us to begin to see the impactful transformation it will bring to the seeds sector in particular and generally on the nation’s agriculture space.
We will begin to see on our farmers’ fields, superior yielding, stress-tolerant, disease-resistant, climate-smart and input efficient varieties,” he added.
What you should know
- Nigeria exported agricultural products worth N321.5 billion in 2020, representing a 19.16% increase when compared to N269.8 billion recorded in 2019 and a 6.27% increase compared to N302.28 billion recorded in 2018.
- However, despite the increase recorded in export, imported agricultural goods surged by 78.58% in 2020 compared to 2019. Nigeria imported agricultural goods worth N1.71 trillion in 2020 as against N959.5 billion in 2019.