The National Centre For Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), said Nigeria will soon witness sufficiency and price reduction in food commodities.
The Acting Director of NACGRAB, Dr Anthony Okere, disclosed this at the end of a 2023 Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting on Seed For Resilience (SFR) organized by NACGRAB in collaboration with Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust) in Ibadan.
According to him, SFR came into existence in 2021 to improve the efficiency of NACGRAB genebank and promote the use of conserved genepool by farmers and other users of genetic resources in Nigeria.
The project, Okere said, had exposed the diversity of sorghum, cowpea and other crops to farmers and other users in Nigeria to mitigate the effects of climate change and boost farmers’ productivity and ensure food and nutrition security in Nigeria.
He said that the project was successful, based on feedback from farmers and other users that the good quality seeds planted this season yielded well in multiples, compared to the year 2022.
In his words: “Farmers now feel free to come to NACGRAB genebank to demand more diversity of materials that could help them to get higher production which in turn would lead to food sufficiency and price reduction in Nigeria soon.
“There is availability of quality seeds in the NACGRAB genebank that farmers can plant and generate good yield due to the success of this project.
”Various farmers can now dwell in more crops instead of one or two crops; this project has made it possible for farmers to plant a diversity of quality seeds and generate good yields which in turn will lead to food and nutrition security in Nigeria.”
In his own part, Dr Olabisi Alamu, the Activity Team Leader, User engagement of the project, said NACGRAB and other stakeholders had been engaging with farmers about the project in the past three years.
Alamu said that farmers in Oyo, Niger and Kano states had been exposed to diversity of seeds of cowpea, sorghum accessions and other seeds conserved in the genebank.
Most farmers, he elaborated, now had access to the seeds and were now using them to enhance production, increase their yields and income generation.
“In all the three states, we have 49 cluster groups; the Seed for Resilience (SFR) project has impacted over 1,000 farmers over the past three years.
“Some of them have been adopting it as a result of good quality traits, early maturity varieties, high yields among others,” Alamu said.