Many farmers, Nigerian seed companies, breeders and other stakeholders in the seed industry across Africa are currently meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city for the 2019 SeedConnect Africa conference.
The event also brought partners from Asia and Latin America for the first time to the Nigerian capital to discuss issues and development around the seed industry not only in Nigeria and the West African sub-region but globally, and how Nigeria can harvest opportunities in the seed business.
Virtually all the Nigerian seed companies are also exhibiting their current technologies at the second edition of the ongoing seed fiesta with a view to expanding their customer base.
Representatives of various international research organizations, donor partners and seed companies will in the next two days x-ray the Nigerian seed industry, challenges and opportunities as the country supplies 75% of the seed used in West Africa.
Celicard Zonkeng of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) particularly pointed out that “if we further support the growth of the seed industry, Nigeria has the potential to feed Africa.”
Although Nigeria proud itself as the largest supplier of seed used in West Africa, millions of smallholder farmers in the country do not have access to improved seeds across the country’s six agro-ecological zones.
Something the Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council, the agency that regulates the seed industry in the country, Dr. Philip Ojo said they want to address in the coming years.
“The seed industry in Nigeria is growing and aims to improve access to quality seeds in the country and across the whole region,” he said.
For many of the participants who delivered goodwill messages at the opening ceremony, everything farming begins and hinges on the good quality seed.