Due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food production in Nigeria, and the need to tackle food insecurity, The Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) collaborated with the Nigerian government to increase the supply of quality seeds needed to boost rice production.
This has led to the donation of some kits by JICA to the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in order to strengthen the capacity of NASC Seed Inspectors to conduct field inspection. The kits which included 37 GPS devices, 85 Face Shields, 85 PVC Boots and Safety Overall, were presented by Mr Nakagawa Takayuki, the Chief Representative JICA Nigeria Office, on Thursday July 8, 2021 at the NASC Headquarters, Sheda, FCT. Receiving the kits on behalf of the Council was Dr. Phillip Olusegun Ojo, Director General NASC, who thanked JICA for the nice gesture and said the field inspection equipment and outfits will in no small measure contribute to the Council’s efforts in ensuring the production of quality rice seeds.
NASC and JICA have been cooperating on developing the Nigerian agricultural industry in various ways. One of which is the improvement of the rice sector, through the development of the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS I) which NASC immensely contributed to, from 2009-2019. Due to the success of the Phase one, a second phase was initiated known as NRDS II, which has now been finalized and adopted.