Farmers and Extension workers in Nigeria are being empowered on quality seeds production.
The capacity building exercise, which is a collaborative effort of local and international stakeholders in the agriculture sector, is expected to be a means by which seed production becomes an income source for farmers.
Though the bulk of West Africa’s labour force is engaged in agriculture, improving the sector’s productivity still leaves a lot to be desired.
The sector’s watchers say deliberate efforts must be made to boost the sector’s output with emphasis on agri inputs particularly seeds.
The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development, CORAF believes challenges of seed availability is a pressing challenge for the seed industry that needs to be addressed.
To this end it has already aligned efforts with the USAID’s Africa mission in areas of institutional capacity development and implementation of research and development projects.
Though this has seen some impact, a new pact entered into by the two bodies in 2017 is now facilitating implementation of a five-year Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development project,
This is meant to improve performance of the agri input system in the region.
This capacity building exercise here is to amongst other things , provide participants with the essential knowledge needed to plan, produce, store and supply quality seed, Improve participants’ skills in seed marketing.
Farmers , extension workers and value chain actors in seed production are target beneficiaries.
The facilitators hope the platform will strengthen
entrepreneurship and the organizational capacity of the Private sector to enhance its advocacy and leadership roles in the delivery of quality seeds.
This is alongside promoting Intellectual Property Rights to protect the emerging private seed companies for enhanced innovation in plant breeding.