Quality Seeds Can Trigger Economic Growth—Agric Minister

November 11, 2020
Quality Seeds

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The economy of Nigeria can be revived and the diversification agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration can be achieved through quality seeds.

This submission was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Muhammad Sabo Nanono, on Tuesday in Abuja during the debriefing of outcomes of socio-economic surveys by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Partners in Nigeria.

He described quality seeds as the bedrock of crop production that would ensure food nutrition and sufficiency, job creation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As you are aware, sorghum and millet provide a diet for most of the population who live especially in the arid and semi-arid tropics of Africa including Nigeria.

“These crops are major staple food consumed by over 60 million people living in Northern Nigeria where it is mostly grown, whereas groundnut is the major crop for the production of vegetable oil and critical feeds,” the Minister said.

He noted that “the crop is widely consumed in different forms as food and beverage; having a good source of some very important nutrients as elements like copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.”

According to him, “the Ministry is making effort to strengthen the value chains hence it held a stakeholders’ workshop on millet in order to strategize on the ways to improve production, likewise convene a seminar on the Sorghum value chain and also constitute a technical committee on sorghum varietal mainstreaming to ensure that quality seeds are available to Nigeria farmers.”

Mr Nanono lauded ICRISAT and Partners for its immense contribution in quality seeds for agricultural development in Nigeria.

In her welcome remarks, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in the Ministry, Mrs Karima Babangida, appreciated the group for the contribution in the agricultural sector especially on sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut value chains.

Mrs Babangida informed that “the ministry’s value chain signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with ICRISAT to boost sorghum production, commercialization and industrial utilization and processing, that collaboration has yielded positive results with the increase in sorghum production.”

“In the cropping season of 2020, the organisation supported the ministry by providing certified seeds of sorghum, millet and groundnut to farmers as COVID-19 Pandemic palliative.

“Presently, I have been notified that ICRISAT and its partners have conducted surveys on adoption and impact of technologies and analysis of sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut in Nigeria and sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut value chain Analysis in Nigeria,” she said.

During his presentation, ICRISAT Country Director, Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, stated that the potentials of the production, processing and distribution segments of the groundnut value chain, for instance, were enormous, they could be exploited by relevant government departments at all levels for livelihoods improvement and create job opportunities.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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