Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Thursday disclosed that an estimated annual seed demand in Nigeria for 2016 is about 350,000MT for rice, maize and sorghum with an approximate seed industry value of N112 billion ($564 million).
This is a quantum leap from the 122,000MT valued at N43 billion ($216 million) in 2015, which suggests a supply-demand gap of about 231,000MT valued at N81 billion ($409 million).
The Minister observed at a workshop to develop an action plan for seeds, organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) that the 231, 000 MT gap is filled through massive use of low quality seeds, such as farmers-saved seeds and supplies from unscrupulous seed merchants.
This, according to the minister, must be curtailed so as to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
More to follow