The Federal Government has intensified its ongoing efforts to ensure that fake seeds and sub-standard chemicals are not supplied to farmers nationwide as a strategic step toward improving agricultural productivity and protecting the health of the people.
Already, a team of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) stormed Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday as part of the nationwide onslaught against sub-standard seeds and chemicals vendors in major markets.
Confirming the mission of his team in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Mr. Adebayo Agboola, who represented the Director General of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Philip Ojo, said that the Council flagged off the operation from the North West geo-political zone and was now in the South West zone, to ensure that farmers are getting quality seeds for planting.
Agboola said that the country was losing over N2 billion yearly to fake seeds and that latest move by the Council was hinged on the Federal Government’s determination to ensure that the vendors of substandard seeds and chemicals and their collaborators are dealt with decisively.
According to him, the Council had confiscated fake seeds worth N1.5 million in the last two months. He listed some of the markets visited by the team in Ibadan metropolis to include, Iyana Church, Mokola, Ogunpa, Monatan, Moniya, and Iwo Road, amongst others
Agboola, who is also the Council’s Director, Seeds Inspectorate, confirmed the team was expected to tour Oyo State and other South-West states to locate the vendors and ensure that they were brought to justice.
He explained: “The chemicals they are using to preserve the seeds are injurious to farmers and their labourers who are working in the farm. It affects total annual production of our farm produce. That is the reason the Federal Government is always frowning on the issue of fake seeds in circulation.”
The nationwide market raids are part of Federal Government’s recent efforts targeted at improving farm yields and making farming attractive to millions of unemployed youths.