Nigeria launches new technology for tracking agricultural seeds

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National Agricultural Seeds Council, Nigeria’s preeminent regulator in the agriculture sector, and an agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, under its transformation agenda, has introduced an innovative platform for electronic quality verification of seeds and planting materials in Nigeria.

NASC selected mPedigree as its strategic innovation partner to deploy mPedigree’s Ovasight technology to advance this program and ensure digital surveillance of the national seeds supply system.

Starting from June 2019, under the newly introduced scheme, farmers will be able to verify the certification status of seed packets they purchase from agro-dealers. The data from these verifications shall complement current enforcement mechanisms and strengthen the new online seed batch approval process that is to accompany the verification system.

By digitizing the quality certification management process, NASC aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Nigeria’s food security and seed stock surveillance capacity, thereby boosting agribusiness and helping eliminate hunger. The increased traceability and accountability should also greatly enrich the policy formulation process by removing information asymmetries and increasing responsiveness. Market efficiency is a major expected outcome of the scheme, since fraud and faking shall be suppressed through the business process automation and enhanced transparency.

The DG NASC stated that the Goldkeys technology will enable quality and genuineness verification by farmers and the public through SMS, smartphone apps, and web.

Speaking at the launch event, Chukwudi Madu, the Head Corporate Affairs for mPedigree, emphasized that this project will enhance food security in Nigeria as it will ensure farmers get quality seeds and consequently bumper harvest. He went on to reiterate that the verification of the seeds won’t cost the farmers anything as the SMS is free.

The new electronic seed quality system positions Nigeria as one of a very small group of countries worldwide with full regulatory visibility into the entire seed supply of the country.

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