Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated the maiden rice seed multiplication farm established by the Enugu State Graduate Farmers (ESGF) to serve thousands of rice farmers in the state, increasing their yield per unit area, providing employment and improving food security.
Representing the governor at the event, Commissioner for Agriculture, Matthew Idu said that the presence of a rice seed multiplication farm in the state was overdue.
He described the ESGF seed company as a certified firm and added that its presence will prevent the importation of improved rice seedlings into the state.
Idu reiterated that the intervention of Ugwuanyi’s administration in the rice value chain has led to the production of rice in commercial quantities in the state. He also encouraged Enugu rice farmers to always plant with improved seedlings for a better yield.
Kingsley Ukpe, a seed certification officer with the National Agricultural Seeds Council , said that the success of farmers depends on the quality of the seeds used in their farms.
“However, if the genetic purity of our parent materials is not preserved in the nearest future, most of the materials/varieties we loved may go extinct.
“Therefore, the genetic purity of all varieties must be maintained and this can only be possible if the process and phases of certification are fully observed by all parties involved in the production of seeds.
“In line with the Seed Act of 1972 as amended in June 2019, all fake seed dealers are liable to be sentenced to prison for five years with an option of bail in the sum of N5 million or both,” Ukpe said.