Netherlands woo Nigerian farmers to hybrid vegetable seeds

The Netherlands-African Business Council said on Tuesday that vegetable farmers in Kano State had the possibility of increasing their yields and income through its hybrid vegetable seeds and training.
Mackenzie Masaki, NABC’s Coordinator of “Seeds for Change’’ in Africa said in Lagos that the initiative would ensure the farmers use better quality seeds, increase their yields and income levels.
He said: “There are a lot of opportunities to improve the quality and volume of the crops grown in Kano State.
“Currently most farmers in Kano state in Northern Nigeria use farmer saved seeds and open pollinated seeds for planting.

“However, there is a business case for switching from low quality farmer saved seeds to buying better quality seeds when one knows how to grow vegetables with these seeds.’’

According to him, the Seeds for Change programme will promote the use of biological crop protection and hybrid vegetable seeds to improve yields.
Masaki added that the programme would also provide them with training on techniques for cultivating tomato, watermelon, onion, hot and sweet pepper and cabbage.

He said: “We have selected two ‘trial-farms’ to ensure we select and introduce the right varieties suitable not only to the climate and growing conditions in the North.
“We intend to compliment knowledge and capacity building at farm level with access to markets by working with established traders and retailers.”
Masaki said that the benefits of switching to hybrid seeds should be made to trickle from the markets to the farms.