By Ginika Okoye
Abuja, Jan. 28, 2019 (NNN) The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and stakeholders in the seed industry have come together to seek sustainable and efficient solutions toward reducing post–harvest losses.
Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, said at a round-table discussion on Seed and Grain Primary Processing Technology in Abuja on Monday that the move was to address the challenges in the sector.
Abdulhameed said it was also geared toward achieving revenue projection for farmers.
“I understand that the generic seed contributes 50 per cent of any output you will expect.
“You can get the best fertiliser, agronomic practice but if the seed is dead, there is nothing you can do about it.
“The challenges limiting the financial viability of the cereal and legume sectors of the agribusiness economy of Nigeria is the seeds quality.
“When you cannot guarantee the germination of the seed, you are already in a state of loss before you produce.
“When you produce the grain, one of the key issues that make our grains to be of low quality not acceptable globally or even by industries in Nigeria is the fact that our grains are not pre-cleaned, not graded or sorted,’’ he said.
Dr Philip Ojo, the Director General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) said the country was currently producing and supplying West Africa with seeds.
Ojo noted that lack of finance had been an issue in the seed industry.
He regretted that there had been no direct investment to boost the seed sector.
Mr Richard Olafere, the National President of the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN), said that access to modern and state of the art seed was essential for crops production.
Olafere, represented by Alhaji Yusuf Kibiya of Chimande Seeds, listed other challenges facing the seed industry to include lack of access to early generation seeds and access to agricultural financing.
Others are inadequate access to infrastructures, research and development.
Mr Didier Sanor, the representative of Petkus, a German based post-harvest management company, promised that the company would work with NIRSAL to revolutionise the seed industry in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that Petkus is a one of the major companies in the partnership to facilitate and supply machines the seed industry. (NNN)
Edited by Angela Okisor/Maureen Atuonwu
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