The Federal Government has launched Cassava Seed Tracker (CST), to bring together stakeholders and end users of cassava across the world. Besides, the CST, first of its kind in the world will also help to reduce the cumbersome and arduous paper-based certification previously used and set the country on a global map as a market leader.
Director General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Olusegun Ojo, who unveiled the application at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Oyo State, said the initiative was to eliminate proxy certification, reduce data loss and develop robust monitoring of seed fields activities per time, per place.
He disclosed that over 60 seed certification officers (male and female) “has undergone three separate trainings on the application and use of CST in Southwest, Southeast, Southsouth and North Central, where we have the six pilot states for this project.”
Ojo, who was flanked by the Project Director, Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System (BASICS), Hemant Nitturkar and the Head of Germplasm Health Unit and Virologist, Lava Kumar, said: “This event is therefore to officially mark the commencement of its use in the pilot states.”
The NASC DG hinted that, “To underscore the importance of this technology, during one of our trainings in the North central, four officers of the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liasion Services (NAERLS), were also trained on the use of the app, this is in furtherance to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the institution on dissemination of seed information to the public.”
Ojo said NASC under him through the support of BASICS is reengineered to ensure that there is real time online certification of cassava seed fields.
“The Cassava Seed Tracker is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and it is easy to use and effective. It is not limited by network as it can work online and offline. Another major advantage is that it serves as a meeting point for producers, marketers, processors, regulators and policy makers. Each stakeholder can generate information needed and link with other stakeholders on the platform, therefore creating a seamless flow of information among all stakeholders,” Ojo stressed.