National Agricultural Seed Council Bill Factbook

Executive Summary

Seed is one of the most crucial elements in the livelihoods of agricultural communities. The potential benefits from the use of good quality seed by farmers can be enormous, and the availability to farmers of quality seed of a wide-range of varieties and crops can increase productivity, reduce risks from pest, drought and disease pressure, and increase incomes. Production increases through the use of adapted varieties in a given area could create employment opportunities related to processing, marketing, and other activities generated through quality seed production.

The repeal of the National Agricultural Seeds Act Cap. N5 LFN 2004 and enactment of the National Agricultural Seeds Council Act will create a vibrant thriving seed sector and promote a competitive seed sector which is pivotal to ensuring timely availability of appropriate, high quality seeds at affordable prices to smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
The passage of the bill by Parliament and assent by the President provides a unique opportunity and momentum for the Federal Government of Nigeria to rapidly put the regulatory framework of the seeds subsector into action through the matching of the diversity of seed systems whilst promoting entrepreneurship and professionalism in seed value chains, and thereby enhancing the performance of seed sector administration and the agricultural sector of Nigeria as a whole. The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) will be the principal institution responsible for the administration and implementation of National Seed Policy for Federal Government of Nigeria including the regulation of the market towards competitiveness and quality control to protect the farm population and the environment.
As principal coordinator, it will play the lead support role, maintain public-service infrastructural and service support required to maintain efficient seed supply, enhance farmer demand for improved seeds, and create a favourable enabling environment for investment in the seed subsector. It will also be tasked with the facilitation of the production and distribution of sufficient quantities of high-quality seed of improved varieties of all relevant crops to farmers in order to ensure production of the required food, feed and fibre (National Seed Policy 2015).

This bill when signed into law, will also support the building of a thriving seed system in Nigeria which will not only include an effective distribution network, promotion of the adoption of improved crop varieties by smallholder farmers, seed quality certification and assurance, increase household income, national food security and the sector aligned to the ECOWAS seed regulation framework and responding to the Malabo Commitments and CAADP result framework.
This policy brief posits that a strong regulatory policy framework and legislation should be put in place to facilitate the access to agricultural inputs (seeds) which will serve as catalyst or is pivot to transform agriculture in Nigeria. It will also contribute directly to one of five key executive priorities, as indicated in the National Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government of Nigeria; which include input supply; seeds, water, land, fertilizer and agro-chemicals.

These were identified as one of the strategies for achieving food self-sufficiency; but of all the yield-enhancing inputs in crop production, seeds give the most dramatic and most cost- effective return on investment. Improved seeds have provided 50% of the productivity gains in agriculture.


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