Nigeria: ‘Plant Variety Protection Bill Will Improve Food Security’

The Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Ojo, has stated that the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill will provide intellectual property protection to breeders and improve food security in Nigeria.

Ojo, disclosed this during a virtual meeting organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in collaboration with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with the theme: ‘Expert review of the Plant Variety Protection Bill: Significance and Constraints.’

He said the NASC and other stakeholders have helped facilitate the PVP bill which is currently awaiting Presidential assent.

Delivering his presentation titled: “Significance of the PVP Act to the Seeds Subsector and the Nigerian Food and Agriculture Ecosystem,” Ojo said the bill is a legal designation to protect plant breeders and help encourage breeders to get incentives from their inventions.

In her opening remarks, NESG Board member, Dr. Ndidi Nwuneli, disclosed that the PVP bill has an important role to play as it would unlock a lot of potentials across Nigeria’s Agricultural ecosystem while protecting farmers.

Nwuneli, who is also the Co-Founder/Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, posited that without access to alternative sources of food or income, smallholder farmers are highly vulnerable to fluctuations in weather patterns, changes in government support and shifts in both local and international markets.

She said there was a need for all stakeholders to work collectively to transform Nigeria’s food ecosystem.