According to the available sources, it has been revealed by the Director-General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Mr. Olusegun Ojo that a project has been launched worth of $800,000 related to Rice Seed Up-Scaling which would boost local production of rice in the country. While, performing the launch in Abuja Mr Ojo informed that the effort was also a boost to guarantee food security in the country too. Further, it was told that the project is an initiative of the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD) and the Africa Seed Trade Association (AFSTA). The current project is in collaboration with the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN).
Furthermore, in this matter, it was narrated that present project is aimed to utilize 1,200 metric tonnes of quality rice seeds for the production of 60,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice in the country between 2016 and 2017. It was stated that about 20,000 farmers are expected to gain access to quality seeds under this project, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with 800,000 dollars.
Moreover, according to Ojo, it was highlighted that this project will be a big boost to the Federal Government’s efforts ensuring that the country will attain self-sufficiency in rice production. It was also reported that the role of NASC in the project was to ensure that the seeds provided by participating seed companies meet the required standards. In addition, emphasis was given by Mr Ojo that the commitment of the council for the success of the project and assuring that the council would continue to partner with SEEDAN and other stakeholders accordingly.