Monday, April 22, 2024

NASC Trains Authorized Seed Inspectors on Quality Cassava Seed

The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has commenced training of Licensed Seed Inspectors (LSI) to ensure compliance to the usage of quality cassava seed, in order to regulate activities of informal seed entrepreneurs and promote food security in the country.

The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) has commenced training of Licensed Seed Inspectors (LSI) to ensure compliance to the usage of quality cassava seed, in order to regulate activities of informal seed entrepreneurs and promote food security in the country.

The Director NASC, Dr Ishiak Khalid, disclosed this in Ibadan, at the training organized by the council in collaboration with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA), tagged: “Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed (BASICS-ll) for Cassava Licensed Seed Inspector.

Khalid, represented at the occasion by the South West Regional Director of the council, Dr. Adekunle Adeseko, charged the LSI to be up and doing in ensuring compliance to seed quality, boasting that the council has set the pace in cassava seed certification in West Africa.

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NASC boss lamented low patronage of Seed Tracker by new Seed Entrepreneurs as one of the challenges of Cassava Certification in South West, while commending collaboration of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting the realization of the objective of the council.

“We know in the South NASC is in the process of integrating the newly licensed cassava growers and processors as they are yet to fully grasp the need to register their cassava seed field on the Seed Tracker for quality assurance” he said.

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According to him, another challenge is the sourcing of ‘Cassava Seed’ from Informal Seed Sector, adding that awareness creation was a way out of the challenges, but the council has paucity of funds to upscale the level of awareness on the need to propagate cassava using seeds instead of stem from old plants.

The desk officer Basics-ll, NASC, Dr Bankole Osho-Lagunju pointed out that decentralization is a new paradigm that NASC is planning by having trained personnel to combat shortage of manpower, and complement the NASC officers in bring quality assurance closer to the people and make it more responsive as well as creating income for those engaged.

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