BusinessDay

Value Seeds ease FX pressure, food insecurity in Nigeria with new technology

One of Nigeria’s seed companies, Value Seeds Limited, looks to drastically reduce pressure on foreign exchange and address the looming food crisis on the continent with its new ultra-modern and fully automated seed condition line.

Commissioned at the weekend by the Zaria-based agricultural company, there are indications that the country would have a lasting solution to the continuous importation of food items.

Current challenges experienced in the production of wheat, rice, maize, and other critical grains are expected to be addressed as the initiative will catalyze farmers’ output thereby bridging the existing gap in crop production in the country.

While Nigeria is currently spending nothing less than $2 billion to import wheat alone, President of Value Seeds, George Zangir links the challenges to lack of quality seed and adoption by farmers, adding that the new technology by the company would drastically address the seeds gap in the country.

Coming on leeway provided by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Syngenta Foundation, AECF, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Sterling Bank, Zangir said the company availed seeds of improved varieties to more than one million farmers as a result of impact partnerships with farmer-friendly organizations.

Aiming to take quality seeds and inputs to ten million smallholder farmers by 2035, he said, “2019 report by Access to Seeds Index ranked Value Seeds number one in Western and Central Africa.

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“2021 report released in September by the same organization ranked us number five but still the best indigenous seed company in Western and Central Africa closely following the multinational seed companies.”

The German technology, Petkus, is expected to significantly revolutionize the agricultural sector in Nigeria, creating maximum yields for farmers and the government to achieve projected goals in the sector, Zangir noted.

While the company was only able to reach about 1000 farmers in 12 years, Zangir noted that innovative and futuristic approaches by the company were yielding the right results.

“Today, we commissioned our seed-friendly, Petkus fully automated seed conditioning line to keep our promise of continuous value addition. Nigerian farmers could rest assured of a lasting and profitable experience. It is a significant investment to guarantee the quality of seeds we offer to farmers. Let the seed revolution begin,” he said at an event attended by stakeholders from African Countries.

George Kabutha, the company’s Head, Administration, and Finance noted that seed output by the company would double by over 100 percent.

According to him, while the organization would leverage the Africa Free Trade Agreement, demand in the country remains high and would be of primary concern to the organization.

Ubandoma Mohammed, the North West Director for National Agricultural Seeds Council, said that seed was not only challenging for the nation’s agricultural output but access to the grass remained poor.

According to him, the new technology would not leapfrog the seeds gap in the country but would enable access to the rural areas, as the Value Seeds already have networks with rural farmers.

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