FG goes tough on fake seed distribution companies
•As Bill To Prosecute Seed Adulterators Scales Second Reading
Following reports of fake seeds in the country, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said the Federal Government would persecute and imprison persons and companies engaged in sale of fake seeds.
Ogbeh said this would be made possible with the speedy passage of the amendment of the National Agricultural Seed Council Act, which has passed the second reading in the National Assembly.
The minister, who stated this at the Seed Fair and Farmers Field Day, at the NASC Headquarters, Abuja also assured that he would personally follow up with the President to accent to the bill once passed by the National Assembly.
“I was a victim of fake seeds too as a farmer. I sent my manager to get seeds and he came back with nicely packaged seeds. When we opened them, they were broken seeds, because over 70 per cent of people who had no business jumped into the seed business, selling junk to farmers. That is why this law is important, if we catch anyone in future, he will be lucky if he doesn’t go to prison,” he warned.
Sympathising with Seed Companies over the non payment of seeds supplied under the GES programme in 2014 and 2015, the minister said: “Its unfortunate that debts owed SEEDAN from 2014 2015 have not been cleared. When we assumed office on November 15, 2015, we were confronted with a debt profile of N63b owed agro dealers and seed companies. He assured that the programme would be reformed.
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