By Olayinka Olawale
Dr Dorcas Ibitoye, Assistant Director, National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, has called for quick implementation of the Plant Varieties Protection (PVP) Law 2021 in the country.
Ibitoye, who is a plant breeder, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the new law would be of huge benefit to farmers and seed breeders.
She said the law would make adopting and growing of crops to be easier for farmers because they would be part of the development process.
Ibitoye said the law would enable breeders to breed locally adapted varieties, disease tolerant and resilient seeds for local consumption that could even grow outside their own environment.
“In times past, we have lots of seeds dumped on us here; unfortunately, many of these varieties are bred in countries that we don’t share the same weather or climate condition.
“Most of these seeds come into the country and are sold at very high cost to the farmers and are not well adapted to our own environment.
“At the end of the day, farmers grow this crop after investing so much in the cultivation and get little returns or yield on their investment.
“The law will help the farmers to grow our own bred varieties that are more climate resilient to our own environment,” she explained.
Ibitoye said that in a way, the PVP law would increase the income of farmers and improve their livelihood.
She added that farmers had a lot to gain with the law if implemented as soon as possible by the National Agricultural Seed Council.
Ibitoye noted that with the new PVP law, breeders would no longer breed just any variety.
She said breeders would work with farmers and conceive the idea about what the farmers wanted.
“This is a demand driven breeding activities that will eventually lead to what the farmers actually demanded for and really need.
“This way, it makes adopting and growing of the crops to be easier for the farmers because they are part of the development process.
“Farmers will know that this particular variety during the testing is well adapted to their own environment.
“Everything is going to make it easy for the farmers and the breeders and in turn, it will be circle of profit for them and the country at large,” Ibitoye said.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021 into law in May to create a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria. (NAN)