(Ecofin Agency) - Nigeria and The Netherlands, via a virtual event, launched a four-year Collaborative Seed Program (CSP) to address major challenges in the Nigerian seed sector.
This program will contribute to the National Seed Roadmap vision that will ensure smallholder farmers in Nigeria have access to adequate, secure, and timely supply of quality seeds to improve their productivity.
“We need collaboration between governments, entrepreneurs, civil societies, and research institutions to attain food security. The Collaborative Seed Programme is the newest initiative under the umbrella of the Nigeria-Netherlands seed partnerships,” Said Harry Van Dijk, The Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria.
Outlined in the Nigerian seed sector review 2019 to 2020, farmers’ access to and the use of new and ameliorated diversified quality seeds still remain narrow and as a result the country’s crop production capacity does not improve. Despite the infrastructure, operations, and economies of scale of a wide diversity of seed sector stakeholders, the gap between demand and supply of quality seed continues to be more than 90-95% for all crops, except for open-pollinated maize varieties which sells the most in the market.
In the same light, The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) stressed on the aspect that timely availability of improved seeds with reasonable prices is core to improving food security, resilience, and livelihoods for smallholder farmers in the continent. And again, if seeds are improved, they can bring advanced technology to farmers along with higher yields, disease and pest resistance, climate change adaptation, and improved nutrition.