THE Federal Government says it is ready to receive applications for plant variety protection rights to agric investors.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, and the Director-General of National Agricultural Seeds Council, Olusegun Ojo, said this was part of moves by the government to implement the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021.
They spoke at the unveiling of the PVP Act 2021, organised by the NASC and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja.
Ojo stated that by implementing the Act, the Federal Government, would be granting PVP rights to investors in Nigeria through the NASC.
He said, “The NASC has already started doing what is necessary to ensure that we do not only have the PVP law, but we implement it for the impacts to be delivered to the farmers and the entire Nigerians.
“NASC has commenced actions to set up a functional PVP office to receive and process applications for the granting of a Plant Variety Protection rights in Nigeria from anywhere in the world.”
The Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, who was represented by one of the group officials, Gloria Ekpo, said the implementation of the Act would help position Nigeria to feed the country’s growing population and attract foreign investments into the seed sub-sector.
He said, “Indeed, hunger has been on the rise for several years in Nigeria and with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, affordability, availability and accessibility to nutritious foods is increasingly becoming difficult for 52 million food insecure Nigerians.
“It is our believe that plant breeders and farmers can offer solutions to these challenges of food insecurity. But, in order to succeed, they need the right tools. This requires us to re-orient food systems so that the plant breeders and farmers are given opportunities to thrive, and to be fairly rewarded for the work they do.”
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had announced that it distributed cassava planting materials and trained over 300 farmers in Edo and Katsina states.
The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD, Karima Babaginda, said the cassava planting materials that were distributed had the attributes of early maturity, pest and disease resistant and were high yielding.
Babangida said the Federal Government’s efforts in promoting cassava production, processing and marketing activities in Nigeria was aimed at sustaining the country’s position as the largest producer of cassava in the world.