Wednesday, April 24, 2024

AFAN Takes a Stand Against Rice Seed Importation

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has kicked against the unethical act of illegally importing seed materials into the country, adding that it violates the provisions of the National Agricultural Seeds Council Act 2019.

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has kicked against the unethical act of illegally importing seed materials into the country, adding that it violates the provisions of the National Agricultural Seeds Council Act 2019.

Assistant Public Relations Officer of the association, Alhaji Salisu Mukhtar, strongly condemned the move, while alleging some influential people in the agricultural sector of conniving with Chinese people to embark on the importation of about 500 metric tonnes of rice seed through the back door.

The AFAN Assistant PRO warned that the violation of the Seed Act would attract penalties, stating that it had been passed into law in 2019 after being duly passed by the National Assembly and receiving the assent of the President.

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According to Mukhtar, the said illegal importation was done as far back as 2020, causing some prominent people to mount undue pressure on the management of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) to approve it for purchase by the Federal Government under the guise of distributing it to rice farmers.

“The pressure is again mounting on NASC to grant approval so that the federal government could buy it to support the farmers who suffered losses in the 2022 flood.” “The Chinese people are already spilling the beans on the various amounts being extorted from them to facilitate the purported approval.”

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“The viability of the seed after two years is not certain, and as it was illegally brought into the country, no scrupulous Nigerian should facilitate its approval for use by our farmers. As such, any government official contemplating putting undue pressure on NASC is well advised to stop, or their job will be in jeopardy, even at this time quite close to the exit of the Buhari administration.” Mukhtar warned

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