By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja
The National Agricultural Seeds Council, NASC, warned against the sale of fake seeds to farmers as farming activities commence across the country.
The warning was made by the Director-General, NASC, Dr Philip Ojo while speaking on the law guiding seed trade in the country as part of sensitisation activities carried out by the Council.
According to Ojo the Seed Act prohibits criminal activities carried out by fake seed producer who deceives farmers and warned that it will be better for them to stop their evil activities of face the law.
He said: “No person other than a person registered under the Seed Act shall produce or be engaged in the production, processing and marketing of seeds for commercial purpose (meaning registration with the Council is a must) according to Section 22 (1) of the Seed Act.
“It is an offence to sell, offer or expose for sale, falsely labelled, tagged or untagged seed of a notified kind, variety or hybrid according to Section 17 (1) of the Seed Act.
“The label on the seed container must accurately describe the seed contained therein according to Section 17 (1) of the Seed Act.
“All classes of seed intended to be produced for marketing must pass through all the phases of seed certification in accordance with harmonised ECOWAS Seed Rules and Regulations.
“Except for demonstration purposes, no person shall offer for sale agricultural seeds of any notified kind or variety in an open container according to Section 17 (3) of the Seed Act.
“Each seed package must carry two labels viz-a-vis the certification tag and the producer’s label. The producer’s label must contain the following information; the name of seed species, variety, lot number, class of seed and net weight; minimum germination percentage; minimum purity percentage; percentage moisture content; a statement indicating whether the seeds have been treated or not and the chemical used; the name and address of the company/person who offers the seed for sale according to Section 18 (1) of the Seed Act.”
Speaking on the penalty violators of the law will face the NASC boss said, “Penalty for operating contrary to the above regulations ranges from the warning, stop sales order, fine ranging from N0.8 million to N1.6 million, seizure and forfeiture of the seed lot to the Federal Government, and finally instituting legal action against the offender which may lead to imprisonment or payment of fine according to Section 27 of Seeds Act.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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