As Nigeria continues to face the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has called on the federal and state governments to consider providing seeds as palliatives to farmers.
The Director-General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, said that the seed industry is capable of providing 81,000 metric tonnes of certified seeds of maize, rice, soya beans, cowpea, groundnut, wheat, sorghum, millet, sesame, and potato as a subsidy to farmers.
During a virtual conference on the preparedness and readiness for the 2020 planting season, and the strategies to enable the seed industry thrive amidst the Covid-19 crisis, Ojo urged individuals and the Nigerian government who consider giving seeds as palliatives to farmers to ensure their contributions are sourced from seed companies accredited by NASC.
In his statement, Ojo said, ‘We are advocating that seeds should be used as palliatives because a lot of people have spent their money trying to buy food during this pandemic and a lot of them, particularly grassroots farmers, don‘t have money to buy seeds‘.
Ojo further stressed that the NASC is putting measures in place to ensure that sector-related activities are sustained for a continuous supply of food for the nation during the Covid-19 crisis.
He urged the government to facilitate free movement for farmers as hampering the mobility of seed companies and farmers will hurt access to quality seeds.
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