Nigeria’s seed industry to boom on new law

Nigeria’s seed industry, which has been stagnated for many years, may see a turnaround in productivity as the new Plant Variety Protection (PVP) law accelerates investment and gives farmers more access to quality seeds.

The new seed law that now gives breeders intellectual property over a new plant variety with exclusive rights to commercialise seeds and propagate material will incentivise national and multinational investments into the seed sector.

The PVP Bill (HB 68) was passed into law by the Senate on March 3 after several months of deliberations, according to the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Through the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), together with AGRA, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, the NESG has been collaborating with the Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to support the enactment of legislation that would provide a plant variety protection system in Nigeria.

Lack of a seed law in Africa’s most populous nation before now has limited the country from harnessing opportunities embedded in its seed sector, thus leaving farmers with low-quality and adulterated seeds and seedlings that portend danger to crop production and food security.

“The new seed law will drive new investments into the country’s seed industry and bridge the production gaps as it will encourage plant breeders to develop improved varieties,” noted Moruf Ayodele Adebisi, a professor of plant breeding and seed technology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

“Farmers will have more access to quality and improved seed varieties as this happen, and productivity will increase as well,” Adebisi said.

The new seed law will encourage breeders to be more effective in their breeding efforts owing to the benefits the PVP act brings to them, he stated.

Source: Business Day