It has been estimated that global food production needs to increase by more than 60 percent in order to be able to feed a rapidly growing population of about 9 billion people in the year 2050. The required percentage increase in food production is even higher in developing countries (including Nigeria) where agricultural productivity is currently low and a wide yield gap exists when compared to developed countries.
A lot of scientists, researchers, agricultural institutions, governments and organizations are already working diligently to provide sustainable solutions that can help farmers (especially smallholder farmers who are most affected) overcome the challenge of low agricultural productivity in developing countries. One of such solutions is the development and release of improved seed varieties.
Apart from the fact that an improved seed variety has great potential to substantially increase agricultural productivity, it also serves as an affordable and effective tool for smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change and improve their livelihoods.
However, lack of access to valuable information on improved seed varieties has been identified as a critical setback to the adoption of a number of high-yielding, climate-resilient, disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, nutrient-rich, and adaptable seed varieties of various crops released in Nigeria. In other words, farmers will only adopt an improved seed variety if they are aware of its existence and the outstanding characteristics (benefits) it has.
Thankfully, the Nigerian Seed Portal Initiative (www.seedportal.org.ng) has been launched to provide solution to the aforementioned problem by facilitating easy access to valuable information on improved seed varieties released and registered in Nigeria.
The platform (www.seedportal.org.ng) will further serve as a vital resource for farmers, agricultural extension agents, seed producers, researchers, policy makers, government institutions, and agricultural NGOs, in their seed-related decision making.
Finally, this initiative will go a long way in enhancing the adoption of improved seed varieties towards boosting agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
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