FG to grant agric investors plant variety protection rights

The Federal Government has announced its readiness to receive and process applications for the granting of plant variety protection rights to agric investors.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, and the Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council, Olusegun Ojo, announced that this was part of moves by the government to implement the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021.

They spoke on the occasion of the unveiling of the PVP Act 2021, which was organised by the NASC and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja.

In his address at the event, Ojo said in implementing the recently assented Act, the Federal Government, through the NASC, would be granting PVP rights to investors in Nigeria.

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 an official of the group, Gloria Ekpo, said the implementation of the Act would help position Nigeria to feed its 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.”

This came as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development 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.

She 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. PUNCH

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