Piloting of the Upgraded Seed Tracker Kicks Off with the Training Of Nasc Officers

On the 7th of December 2021, a total of fifteen (15) seed certification officers from the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) gathered at Sarina suites and Apartment, Kano to understand and assess the upgraded National Seed Tracker.

The National seek tracker is a software that collects and organizes seed production information, making it easier for institutions to monitor seed quality and certify producers. It provides a database for ready access to information, such as seed quantity, location, variety, geography, and availability. The National seek tracker was however limited to Cassava only. Given the many benefits of the Seed Tracker, the Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) took on the assignment of upgrading the seed tracker to include Maize and Rice under the Decentralization of Seed Quality Assurance topic.

The process of upgrading the Seed Tracker software commenced in earnest in August 2021 with the development of forms for maize and rice by Dr. Lava Kumar, the Head of the Germplasm Health Unit, and Virology and Molecular Diagnostics Unit at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Dr. Lava Kumar is also the pioneer of the Cassava Seed Tracker that metamorphosed into the present National Seed Tracker.

Following the development of the forms, the seed certification officers, stationed in Kano, Kaduna, and Plateau states, were invited to test the upgraded platform. The selected officers will also serve as pioneers of the seed tracker for maize and rice.

 The main objectives of the training were to introduce the officers to the CSP and the upgraded tracker and obtain feedback on the newly developed forms.

The facilitator, Dr. lava Kumar of IITA represented by Mr. Busayo Ogunya, IT Systems & Web Administration Team Lead at IITA, gave a detailed explanation of the new platform and what it is set to address which generated a robust exchange of ideas between the officers and the facilitators. Based on critical feedback received from the certification officers, the new forms would be updated for completeness, consistency, and reliability. After the redesign, the forms will be uploaded for field trials in April 2022.

Also present at the training were Chinedu Agbara, the Nigerian programme coordinator of the CSP, who delivered an introductory presentation on the CSP, and Mr. Osho Bankole, Nigerian Topic Lead for the Decentralization of Seed Quality Assurance who effectively spearheaded the training.

Background Information on the Decentralization of Seed Quality Assurance Topic

The ambition of the Decentralization of Seed Quality Assurance topic is to promote consolidated, effective, and sustainable seed quality assurance systems that cover multiple crops (cereals, legumes, RTBs, and vegetables) and provide services to different types of seed entrepreneurs. The topic will develop and implement specific seed quality assurance standards and protocols for all crops, especially for RTBs and vegetables.

For more on the topic, visit https://csp-nigeria.org/decentralization-of-seed-quality-assurance/