The Director-General, DG, NASC, Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo, represented by Seed Inspectorate Director, Mr. Agboola Adebayo, during an exercise tagged: “Seed Market Surveillance and Enforcement of Seed Standard”, warn those selling fake and adulterated seeds to farmers, that if caught, they risk prosecution in line with the seed act in Nigeria.
Adebayo, gave the warning in Ado-Ekiti, weekend while calling on farmers to buy all seeds with the codex, the seal of quality from the point of purchase, saying this is to ensure that the council gets rid of fake and adulterated seed in the market before it gets to the hands of the Nigeria farmers.
“Recalcitrant seed dealers will be punished in line with the law, all along we find out that Nigeria farmers experience low yield when they buy seed and plant, we now find out that the cause of the low yield is planting of poor and adulterated seeds, we have the mandate to ensure that the seeds that go to Nigeria farmers should be of top quality and should meet all the standard specified for seeds
“The program is meant to sanitize seed market to ensure that the seed that is being sold in the market is of top quality, if we notice that anybody selling seed is selling adulterated ones, the council would confiscate the seed, just like NAFDAC
used to do when they see fake drugs, they confiscate, so we also confiscate fake and adulterated seed to our headquarters”
Adebayo noted that the agency which is under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development has carried out a lot of sensitization at the state and regional level in all the states of the federation.
“We found out that what is common among those who contravene the law is selling seeds in an open container and repackaging them which the law
“At this exercise, the seed products of those who fell short of the standard have been confiscated and they have been adequately sensitized to curtail subsequent misfits but generally, we find out that in Ekiti State, level of compliance is a bit high, so we expect by our next visit, we may not even get anything to confiscate.
The NASC DG explained that the exercise is targeted at those selling seeds to farmers because if they actually sell good seeds, farmers would get good products.
“ Any seed dealer who proved stubborn on selling adulterated products, apart from having his goods confiscated, the council can prosecute such person in line with the seed acts.
“I want to advise seed dealers generally in the country that they should only buy certified seeds that carry tag from National Agricultural seed council, particularly those seeds that carry seed codex, without this, the seed has not gone through the phases of seed certification, farmers should insist on buying seed that carries certification tag, that is the only guarantee label for seed.