NASC Aims to Address Extinct Seed Types with Crop Genotype Surveillance

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The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has expressed confidence to address the continued use of dead seed varieties among farmers using results from the national crop survey.

The acting director-general of NASC, Dr Ishiaku Khalid state this during the partners socialisation of the Institutionalising Monitoring of Variety Adoption using Genotyping, (IMAGE) preliminary results of the survey with stakeholders in Abuja.

The survey was conducted along four staple crops of rice, maize, cassava and cowpea aimed to establish, institutionalise and scale routine monitoring of improved crops variety adoption and turnover

Dead seed varieties have continued to plagued farmers for years, resulting in decreased yields, compromised crop resilience, and economic losses. These varieties often fail to thrive in local environments, adversely affecting food production and the livelihoods of farming communities.

NASC aims to tackle the persistent challenge of dead seed varieties that have also hindered crop yield optimisation and sustainable farming practices across the nation by leveraging the outcome of the genotyping survey to identify and eliminate these dead seed strains and replace them with resilient and high-yielding alternatives.

According to the DG, “The council expects that the IMAGE project will provide insights and evidence for seed sector actors to enhance government agency capacity, improve stakeholder coordination and lead to better investment and resource allocation decisions for varietal development and commercialisation in Nigeria”.

“A lot of investment has gone into seed and crop development particularly for the target crops, are this varieties in the hands of farmers, if they are dead, do farmers know that these varieties are dead?, so this survey will help researchers know what the farmers are doing and how they help the farmers to improve their seed system”, said Dr Folarin Okelola, the project lead, IMAGE Nigeria.

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