National Seed Platform: Webinar on the SEEDCODEX in Nigeria
The Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) held its quarterly seed platform meeting on the 26th of April, 2022. The webinar is part of the programme’s strategic pathway in establishing and institutionalizing a functional national seed sector platform to improve sector coordination and governance.
The quarterly seed platform meeting reviews and discusses emerging topics relevant to improving the seed sector and recommend potential solutions. The first quarter meeting, held virtually, focused on the theme “The SEEDCODEX: Improved seed quality assurance providing farmers value for money”.
The webinar was hosted by Ekum Ojogu, a Chief Agricultural Officer at the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and had seventy-nine (79) participants. Among the key stakeholders present was the Nigerian Country Manager of AGRA, who was represented by Dr Esther Ibrahim, Programme Officer, AGRA Nigeria Office, who delivered the goodwill message. The Director-General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, welcomed participants and declared the webinar open.
The keynote presentation was done by Osho Bankole, a Chief Agricultural Officer on Quality Assurance at NASC, who highlighted the “Implementation of the Seed Codex in Nigeria: current status and ambitions”. Timothy Maina, the Market Lead Specialist at Mpedigree Networks Kenya Ltd, shared insight and experiences from other countries with a presentation on the “Serialization, e-Certification and Traceability for Agro Inputs: Agrotrack Experience in Kenya”.
After the keynote presentations by both speakers, Dr Marja Thijssen, the Senior Advisor on Seed Systems at Wageningen University and Research, moderated the panel discussion that comprised Dr Khalid Ishiak (Director Seed Certification and Quality Control, NASC), Engr. Joseph Bamidele (National Coordinator, Maize Association of Nigeria), Alhaji Abdul Lamido (Agro-dealer), Ibitoye Olumide Oyewale (Managing Director, Premier Seed Nigeria), Timothy Maina, and Carol Kavu (Seed Inspector, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).
The webinar helped to: create more awareness of smart verification of seed information through SMS, web-based applications and smartphone apps for enforcement of quality standards in the seed industry; update stakeholders on the Seed Codex as a tool to guarantee the quality of seeds in the market, protect farmers, ensure traceability, eliminate adulteration and entrench integrity of marketed seeds in trade; and get the perspectives of different stakeholders on challenges and opportunities for further popularizing the use of the Seed Codex among seed producers, seed sellers and seed users.