To boost food production through the deployment of new technologies, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) have unveiled a private for-profit foundation seed entity – ECOBasic Seed Company Limited to produce foundation seeds for the Nigerian and West African markets.
Speaking at the launch in Abuja, the Managing Director of ECOBasic Seed Company, Mr. Brighton Karume, said Nigeria could close its gap between maize production and demand by increasing the number of farmers who use seeds. seeds of hybrid varieties from 10% currently to about 50 to 100 percent.
He added that the development will double the country’s maize yield from the current two metric tonnes per hectare to over four tonnes / hectare, thus increasing annual production to around 20 million tonnes.
He noted that the company would provide quality and sustainable basic seed solutions to hybrid companies and increase the productivity and profitability of seed companies and farmers in Nigeria.
âTo catalyze the development of the adoption rate of hybrid maize technology in Nigeria, ECOBasic in the medium term will focus in Nigeria while in the long term it will target the ECOWAS region. It will target indigenous and international seed companies that produce certified hybrid seeds.
In his remarks, AATF Executive Director Dr Canisius Kanangire said the company would fill a void that was preventing farmers from accessing pure, quality seeds.
He explained that the new company would produce, process and supply high quality basic seeds to companies, in the Nigerian and West African seed markets.
Kanangire said, âIt is a strategic priority for every country in West Africa to be self-sufficient in agricultural food production, and the path to food security begins with high quality basic seeds with high purity. undiluted.
Also speaking, the Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, noted that more than 90 percent of first generation seeds (EGS) – breeding and foundation seeds – from Nigeria come from research institutions.
In her remarks, the director of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, Aisha Hadejia, congratulated the African Agricultural Technology Foundation for supporting the realization of the company ECOBasic Seed.