IITA BIP Attends NASC Seed Connect in Abuja in April 2019
IITA GoSeed participated in the second edition of the NASC Seed Connect in Abuja in April 2019. The two-day conference was hosted by the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) toward ‘Unlocking the Potentials of the Nigerian Seed Industry’. The conference was well attended by over a hundred participants including a variety of stakeholders across the world including seed companies, national and international seed associations, food processing companies, financial institutions, the Nigeria ministry of agriculture, farmers and farmers’ cooperatives, etc.
IITA GoSeed exhibited cassava, cowpea, maize, soybean, rice and yam seeds at the conference, drawing in a crowd of participants. Our robust seed varieties got a lot of attention from farmers and seed companies! These include the new improved high yielding cassava varieties and flood tolerant rice varieties.
Our sister companies from the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP) also participated at the event and the Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Audu Innocent Ogbeh visited the IITA-BIP Exhibition Booth and was impressed with our legume inoculant, Nodumax which helps to increase soybean yield by up to 30%. Our Aflasafe product, was also highly recommended by the minister who agreed that its wide adoption would contribute to eliminating the appearance of aflatoxins in maize and groundnut produce.
The Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and NASC Director General, Dr. Phillip Olusegun Ojo visiting the IITA-BIP Exhibition Booth at the NASC Seed Connect in Abuja
Participants at the conference gained deep insights into the Nigerian seed industry. Some of the identified gaps and opportunities in the sector include:
- The opportunity in the Nigerian seed industry is valued at ≈ $1 billion.
- The annual seed demand in Nigeria is approximately 408,581.9 MT for rice, millet, soybean, groundnut, cowpea and cotton valued at NGN 281 billion.
- According to FAO, 82.8% of seeds used by Nigerian farmers in 2015 were sourced from the informal seed sector.
- In 2018, the value of required certified, foundation and breeder seeds (for maize, rice, sorghum, groundnut, cowpea, millet and soybean) unmet in 2018 was NGN 112 billion, NGN 4.8 billion and NGN 500 million respectively.
- Nigeria has good has good arable land, abundant water and climatic conditions that support seed production while about 80% of vegetable seeds are still imported.
According to the NASC Director General, Dr. Phillip Olusegun Ojo, “With a population of 190 million Nigerians and a projection of 500 million people by 2050, the Nigerian seed market is a bundle of opportunities.”
Enterprising Nigerians were encouraged to tap into the opportunity presented by the Nigerian seed industry to meet the increasing market demand and to reduce reliance on seed importation.
NASC also introduced the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) law. The PVP law is aimed at promoting innovation and investment in plant breeding, provide access to high yielding and better performing plan varieties, increase farmers’ yield and income, and create rural employment and economic development. NASC aims to send the PVP bill to the National Assembly for assent.