An agricultural expert and regional head, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), South-East region, Umudike, Kamalu Charlie has lamented the absence of seed companies in the South-East South-South regions of the country, especially Cross River State, being an agrarian community. According to Kamalu, 99.9 percent of seed companies in Nigeria are found in the Northern part of the country due to the encouragement of their various state governments to form seed companies. The result, he said, are enormous and beneficial to the economy of the region as each company draws not less than N400 million every year from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
Delivering a lecture during the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) training workshop for extension agents, site managers (NPFS) and farmers (seed producers), at the conference room of the Cross River State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Kamaku said seeds being essential planting materials were the most basic inputs in crop production, which contributes about 50 – 70 percent of production.
The seed industry in the South-East and South-South regions has not been recognised and that is why the NASC is sensitising farmers and other stakeholders to pick interest in forming indigenous seed companies in their various states, he said.
On procedures for forming indigenous seed companies, Kamalu said, “According to the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and the Act establishing it, you have to register it, with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and ensure that your Article of Association and object clause showing that you are into production and marketing of seed and sidelines, and other agro-inputs in Nigeria and ECOWAS sub-region.”
As the regional head, he has been sensitising through enlightenment and calling on those that have the resources to form seed companies, stressing that the activities of last year yielded fruits as no fewer than 15 companies now exist in the South East.”