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The Federal Government has begun clampdown on all fake and adulterated seeds markets throughout the country.
The step was aimed at protecting farmers whose produce had been negatively impacted by fake and adulterated seeds.
Director General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Philip Olusegun Ojo, said government’s efforts to diversify economy to agricultural sector couldn’t be realised if farmers are not protected and encouraged to make profit.
Ojo, who spoke through the Director, Seeds Inspectorate, Adebayo Agboola, during a raid of some markets in Ibadan, yesterday, said Nigerian farmers are losing billions of naira every year due to planting of fake and adulterated seeds.
He said the NASC began the operation from the northwest and now in the southwest to ensure that farmers get quality seeds for planting, adding that the Council had confiscated fake seeds injurious to the farmers and their workers worth N1.5million in the last two months.
“The Federal Government is determined to make agriculture attractive to all Nigerians, but this will not be possible if their yields are not encouraging.
“It was obvious that most marketers contravene Section 17 (3) of Seeds Act prohibited display of seeds meant for planting in open container, while many producers failed to put label on the seed container for description and identification. “The chemicals they are using to preserve the seeds are injurious to farmers and their labourers, who are working in the farm. It affects total annual production of our farm produce.
“That is the reason the federal government is always frowning at fake seeds in circulation,” he explained.
The areas visited by the team were Iyana Church, Monatan, Mokola, Ogunpa, Iwo Road and Moniya, all in Ibadan, the state capital.
The team is expected to tour Oyo and other southwest states until those behind the illegal business realise its implications.