Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The federal government is intensifying gains so far recorded in the agricultural sector as it targets greater outputs in the annual turnover of farm produce in the country.
To this end, the government has commenced raiding of fake seeds markets across the country, in an unprecedented manner targeted at making farmers to reap bountifully thus making farming more attractive to unemployed Nigerian youths.
The Director General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) Philip Olusegun Ojo who led the team to some markets in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital said the council began the operation from the North West Geo Political zone and now in the South West zone to ensure that farmers are getting quality seeds for planting.
Ojo, who was represented by the Director Seeds Inspectorate, Mr. Adebayo Agboola said Nigeria loses over N2billion to fake seeds annually and the federal government has decided to bring the perpetrators to book.
According to him, the council had confiscated fake seeds worth N1.5million in the last two months, adding the fake seeds are injurious to the farmers and their workers.
The areas visited by the team were: Iyana church, Monatan, Mokola, Ogunpa, Iwo-road, Moniya, all in Ibadan, the state capital.
Agboola said the team was expected to tour the Oyo state and other southwest states until the people behind the illegal business realise its implications.
“The chemicals they are using to preserve the seeds are injurious to farmers and their labourers who are working in the farm. It affects total annual production of our farm produce. That is the reason the Federal Government is always frowning at fake seeds in circulation.”