The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has said it destroyed imported vegetable seeds worth about N40 million for not complying with packaging rules and the presentation of false information on the product. The Director of the Seed Inspectorate Department of the council, Agboola Adebayo, stated this at a media briefing after a sensitization workshop on compliance for seed companies, organized by the council in Abuja. According to him, some of the destroyed seeds might be good, but because they do not have the SeedCodex issued by the council, it was regarded as fake that shouldn’t be allowed for farmers’ use.
Recall that in January, the Director-General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, had warned farmers to avoid buying seeds and seedlings without the SeedCodex, a special number to be texted to a dedicated line to confirm authenticity. Ojo had during the 2022 Quality Seed Enlightenment Programme in Ibadan, described the activities of fake seeds peddlers as acts of economic and national sabotage, threatening that they risk jail terms if they don’t stop.
Speaking at the workshop, Adebayo said, “If I want to be conservative, up till date, the vegetable seeds that we have seized and destroyed should be about N30 million to N40 million because they were substandard and did not comply with the packaging rules and some were confiscated because of the false information on the back of the packaging materials. Some people may have good products, but they will not allow the products to follow due process before releasing it to the market, no matter how good the product is, it is still a bad product.
“Some of these products may be good, they may give farmers the yield they expected but because the importer or the dealer did not follow what the law says in terms of marketing of vegetable seeds in Nigeria, the Council still regards such seeds as fake and substandard, and they are not to be sold to Nigerian farmers.
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