NASC licences 158 seed coys, downgrades 75, 21 classified inactive

The National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), yesterday licensed 158 seed companies, downgrading 75 others while declaring 21 others inactive.
The Director-General of the Council, Dr.
Philip Olusegun Ojo, who announced this at a press briefing in Sheda, said the board of the Council approved the licensing of 158 new seed entrepreneurs, in addition to the 156 already in operation.
He explained that those approved includes16 new small scale companies, 133 producer and seller entrepreneurs and 9 seed dealers.
He states further that the NASC is very critical of the quality of seed that gets to the farmers and has therefore conducted a recertification exercise of all initial 156 companies in a bid to evaluate and assess their infrastructure, personnel capacity, production capacity and operational efficiency to ascertain if they still meet their rating.
“The result of this exercise led to the upgrading of 6 companies who had improved their infrastructure, quality assurance systems, and personnel while 75 were downgraded.
The downgrade which mostly can be traced to the lull in the seed industry owing to backlogs of debts owed to the companies does not mean a weakness in the industry but it is strategic to checkmate the activities and promote desire for quality and healthy competition among entrepreneurs.
“In all, the country now has 314 seed entrepreneurs, made of 4 large scale, 7 medium scale, 39 small scale, 223 producer seller, and 20 seed dealers.
Also, worthy of mention is the fact that during the last recertification exercise, 21 seed entrepreneurs were approved by the board to be classified as inactive,” he said.
He, however, allied fears that most of the newly licensed companies were not new in the business but were mostly out-growers, with long years of experience, and have acquired necessary facilities in relevant categories after due assessment by the NASC.

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