The Federal Government has called on farmers to promote quality seeds to boost local production, stating that quality seeds remains the bedrock of crop production.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono stated this on Tuesday stating that promoting quality seed would ensure food nutrition and sufficiency, boost production and economic growth in Nigeria.
He said, “Crops are very important for food security, job creation and the diversification agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Administration.
“The need to Promote quality seeds cannot be overemphasized as we are all aware that sorghum and millet provide diet for most of the population who live especially in the arid and semi – arid tropics of Africa including Nigeria.
“These crops are major staple food consumed by over 60 million people living in Northern Nigeria where it is mostly grown, whereas groundnut is the major crop for production of vegetable oil and critical feeds.”
The Minister, speaking at the debriefing of Outcomes of Socio- Economic Surveys by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in abuja, said the Ministry is making effort to strengthen the entire agricultural value chain, especially the seed value chains.
“The Ministry is making effort to strengthen the value chains hence it held a stakeholders’ Workshop on millet in order to strategize on the ways to improve production.
“We have likewise convene a stakeholders’ workshop on the Sorghum value chain and also constitute a technical committee on sorghum varietal Mainstreaming.
“The crop are widely consumed in different forms as food and beverage; having a good source of some very important nutrients as elements like copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.’’
The Minister lauded the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics and Partners for the immense contribution to Quality Seeds for agricultural development in Nigeria.
The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in the Ministry, Karima Babangida appreciated ICRISAT and its Partners for the contribution in the Agricultural sector especially on sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut value chains.
She explained that the ministry had earlier signed a Memoranda of Understanding with ICRISAT to boost sorghum production, commercialization and industrial utilization and processing.
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