As farmers across the country prepare to commence farming activities for this year’s rainy season, the National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC has warned against the sale of fake seeds to farmers.
Director-General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo made this known while speaking on the law guiding seed trade in Nigeria during the council’s sensitisation activities.
Ojo divulged that the Seed Act prohibits the production and marketing of fake seeds in the country adding that only registered persons and companies are allowed to sell seeds to the farmers.
Quoting from the seed act, the DG said, “No person other than a person registered under the Seed Act shall produce or be engaged in the production, processing and marketing of seeds for commercial purpose according to Section 22 (1) of the Seed Act.
“It is an offence to sell, offer or expose for sale, falsely labelled, tagged or untagged seed of a notified kind, variety or hybrid according to Section 17 (1) of the Seed Act.
“The label on the seed container must accurately describe the seed contained therein according to Section 17 (1) of the Seed Act.
“All classes of seed intended to be produced for marketing must pass through all the phases of seed certification in accordance with harmonised ECOWAS Seed Rules and Regulations.
“Except for demonstration purposes, no person shall offer for sale agricultural seeds of any notified kind or variety in an open container according to Section 17 (3) of the Seed Act,” Ojo added.
The DG further explained that each seed package must carry two labels including the certification tag and the producer’s label.
The producer’s label, he said, must contain information such as; the name of seed species, variety, lot number, class of seed and net weight
Also, minimum germination percentage, minimum purity percentage, percentage moisture content, a statement indicating whether the seeds have been treated or not and the chemical used, the name and address of the company/person who offers the seed for sale, Oyo added as contained in the seed act Section 18 (1)
NASC DG ,therefore, said that violators will be allowed to face the full wrath of the law once apprehended adding that “Penalty for operating contrary spans from warning, stop sales order, fine ranging from N0.8 million to N1.6 million, seizure and forfeiture of the seed lot to the Federal Government, as well as instituting legal action against the offender which may lead to imprisonment or payment of fine according to Section 27 of Seeds Act.”