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‘Only 10 per cent of Nigerian farmers have access to improved seeds’

Daily independent – July 8, 2014

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Premier Seed Nigeria Limited, Prof. Abraham Ogungbile, has said that only 10 per cent of Nigerian farmers have access to improved seeds, a situation that has resulted in low agricultural productivity in the country.

Speaking at the 2014 North Central Agriculture Stakeholders Summit in Abuja on Tuesday, Ogungbile lamented that over 80 per cent of the crops are planted with farmers old varieties and farmers’ saved seeds.

He fingered poor distribution system and high prices of improved seeds as well as low awareness creation by farmers as being responsible for farmer’s inability to access improved seeds.

He also identified limited use of farm input, low adoption of improved technologies and inadequate investments, high gaps in the technical know-how of farmers as well as poor extension services in the sector as being responsible for the nation’s massive importation of food crops that Nigeria can easily produce.

On the application of fertilizer by farmers to increase yields, he pointed out that an average fertilizer use in Nigeria is about 15kg per hectare as compared to other practices in the world with average of 100kg to 150kg per hectare. He explained that it is estimated that 50 per cent of the productivity gains in plant based agriculture can be achieved through the use of improved seed technology.

According to him, “Access to good quality seed is the foundation on which all farms everywhere depend for their crop production.

“Consequently, increased productivity of well adapted improved crop varieties are required to achieve minimal levels of food security and provides livelihoods for millions of subsistence farmers.

“Increasing the productivity of well adapted crop varieties can alleviate poverty by lowering food prices for consumers and by raising the incomes of producers who depend on these crops for food.

www.dailyindependentnig.com

 

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