The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ratified the country’s membership of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the State House after the year’s first cabinet meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The International Seed Treaty or Plant Treaty was adopted in November 2001, after the 31st session of the conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The agreement seeks to guarantee food security by enabling the conservation and sustainable use of all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Under this agreement, all benefits derived from the use of these genetic resources are to be shared equitably. It also recognises farmers’ rights and is in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The treaty, however, came into force on June 29, 2004, and is open to all members of FAO and any States that are not Members of FAO but are Members of the United Nations.
According to Nanono, the effect of this ratification is that Nigeria is now a full-fledged member of the treaty.
He added that the agreement will boost agricultural production in the country, through capacity building for agricultural scientists.
“This memo which was approved today was a treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
“The importance of this treaty is for the advancement and enhancement of the agricultural resource base of the member countries.
“Nigeria has signed the treaty for a long time but it is only today that the FEC approved the ratification,” he explained.
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