National Seed Platform: Prioritizing Investments in the Nigeria Seed Sector

The 4th Quarter National Seed Platform Meeting held on December 6, 2022, on prioritizing investments in the Nigerian seed sector from the development partners’ perspective. The Collaborative Seed Programme (CSP) coordinated the webinar under the leadership of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC)

Ekum Ojogu, the Chief Agricultural Officer of NASC, opened the meeting by outlining the objectives of the webinar. Dr. Khalid Ishiak, Director Seed Certification, and Quality Control, representing the Director General of NASC, gave the introductory remarks, emphasizing the importance of long-term seed security planning for food security in Nigeria.

Chinedu Agbara, Nigerian Manager of the CSP, presented an overview of a mapping of investments in the seed sector in relation to the Strategic Innovation Pathways (SIPs) of the National Seed Road Map (NSRM). In his presentation, he highlighted the limited investments in infrastructure capacity for seed production and marketing. Mr. Agbara cited feedback from seed companies on their limited capacity to produce at scale seed varieties that farmers desire. Other gap areas highlighted include revenue generation for seed quality assurance, financial services, seed trade associations, and seed export. These areas seem to be of little interest to development partners. He also noted the lack of coordination between donors in the SIPs with multiple donor interventions. According to him, the existing Agricultural Donor Working Group does not address the in-depth sectoral coordination required for the seed sector. In conclusion, Mr. Agbara mentioned that the next step following the study is to create a dashboard to monitor progress across the various Strategic Innovative Pathways (SIPs) of the National Seed Roadmap.  

The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Marja Thijssen, a Senior Adviser on Seed Systems at the Wageningen University of Research, and included the following panelists: Mr. Ayoade Adetoye, a Senior Agricultural Economist with USAID; Malam Ibrahim Garba Mohammed from the Islamic Development Bank; Mr. Andrew Smith from GIZ; Mrs. Mariska Lammers, the First Secretary for Food Security and Climate at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; and Mr. Anthony Job from Value Seeds Nigeria.

The panelists outlined investment prospects and other contributions their respective organizations have made to the Nigerian Seed Sector.

  • As part of global initiatives to reduce hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, USAID has committed funds to develop community-based seed production systems.
  • To increase productivity, KSADP invested in research, extension, community seed production, and private sector production of quality seeds of improved varieties.
  • GIZ invested in helping farmers demonstrate the commercial viability of improved varieties and understand the business model.
  • The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands proposed sharing the outcomes of the donor mapping exercise with donor coordination groups to attract more investment and interest in the sector.
  • Value Seed recommends that development partners prioritize capacity building, policy improvement, and marketing efforts to support the promotion of seeds. In addition, development partners may consider offering infrastructural support to individuals and organizations involved in the seed value chain to help them increase production.

In his final thoughts on the webinar topic, Mr. De Boef, a Senior Adviser on Seed Systems at the Wageningen University and Research (WUR), stressed the need for donors in the seed sector to realign their efforts and called on the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) to coordinate the activities of these donors to address the funding gaps in the strategic innovation pathways of the National Seed Sector Reform Model (NSRM).

To close the event, Engr. Abubakar Abdullahi, representing the Permanent Secretary of FMARD, expressed gratitude to the meeting’s organizers and attendees for providing a forum in which important stakeholders in the Nigerian seed sector could discuss and develop solutions to the problems in the seed sector. He emphasized that the continuous effort of the government and private sector is essential to sustain the nation’s agricultural progress.