Nigeria-Netherlands: Plant Variety Performance Trials in the Seed Sector

The Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) on September 29, 2022, facilitated a webinar for plant variety release stakeholders to discuss performance trials in the Nigeria and Netherlands seed sectors.

The session featured keynote presentations by Professor O.O. Olufajo of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria – the Chairman of the Nigerian Variety Release Technical Sub-Committee – and Mr. Lubbert van den Brink of the Naktuinbouw – the Netherlands Seed Inspection Service for Horticulture. The speakers provided an in-depth analysis of the crop variety release process in Nigeria and the Netherlands, focusing on the Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) test in Nigeria and the National Performance Trials (NPT) in the Netherlands. They highlighted the similarities and differences in the systems in both countries, stating that no approach is better than the other; stakeholders have to agree on what works best given their peculiarities.

Representatives of the National Varietal Release Committee (NVRC), National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) were among the 27 participants in the webinar.

During the event, the attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their organizations and asked questions to the keynote speakers for more clarity. Mr. Lubbert, at the end of the session, invited interested participants to visit his institution in the Netherlands for a better understanding of their National Performance Trials.

In the closing remarks, Dr. Sunday Aladele, the executive director of NACGRAB, thanked the webinar’s organizers, speakers, and attendees. He also expressed gratitude for learning about the Nigerian and Dutch plant variety release systems from the webinar participants.