By Adelola Amihere
The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has called on the media to be fully engaged in the efforts of increasing awareness on access to quality seeds by farmers as well as the need for farmers to use certified seeds for planting as against the use of grains
This formed the crux of discussion at Agricultural Seeds Media Dialogue organized by the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL-DFID) in collaboration with NASC recently in Abuja.
In his remark, Director-General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo who was represented by a director, Mr Ishiak Khalid, explained that seeds formed 60 per cent in the ration of a crop.
He however pointed that one major challenge was the issue of using grains for planting instead of certified seeds.
He pointed out that the use of certified seeds from reliable seed companies was a sure way to increased yields.
Dr Ojo also stated that a council had been inaugurated to spearhead the fight against adulterated seeds.
He said: “Today, we are instituting a strategic agenda with PERL-DFID, which is aimed at strengthening partnerships with actors to tackle service delivery blockages in the seed and other relevant sub-sectors.
“I wish to assure this gathering that NASC is repositioning and re-strategizing to ensure that the country is purged of all spurious and adulterated seeds”.
Also speaking at the event was the Reform Facilitator, PERL-DFID, Mrs Virtuous Igbodika, who harped on the need for the media’s assistance in creating awareness and updating the knowledge base of farmers in differentiating grains from seeds.
Igbodika further stated that the organization was committed to sustaining the access and distribution of quality and improved seedlings to farmers in rural areas.
Customs bureaucracy hinders tractor investment- Dizengof
Dizengoff West-Africa Nigeria Ltd has attributed the paucity of local assembling factories in the country to the bureaucracy and inflated tariffs on semi-complete knocked down (CDK) tractors imposed by the Nigeria Customs Service.
According to agronigeria online, the Chief Executive Officer and Country Manager of the firm, Mr Ritvonen Antti made this known to newsmen in Lagos recently
Antti said, “We are interested in bringing development to the Nigerian agriculture sector, especially in the assembling of tractors and other agricultural machinery.
“Dizengoff hopes to partly localise activities in Nigeria soon, however, some government regulations and policies do not always encourage that to happen.
“According to the customs duty policy, it is cheaper to bring the fully-built tractors. This will lead to limitations to tractor assembling and manufacturing in Nigeria.
“So, obviously, it will not open links for employment.”
Antti, was however elated over the review of policies on import tariffs and the revamping of the sector by the President Buhari’s administration.
In her reaction, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service, Mrs Ijeoma Nwala explained that the online CET Code reveals that the Track Laying Tractors was 35 per cent duty and five per cent VAT.
The Agricultural Tractors Presented CDK or unassembled for the assembling industry was zero per cent duty and VAT.
Meanwhile, Agricultural tractors fully-built was zero per cent duty and five per cent VAT.