A non-governmental organization, Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria (SFN) in collaboration with New Market Lab (NLM) have facilitated the signing of varietal licensing agreement between Joseph Arwuan Tarka University, formerly known as University of Agriculture, Markudi, Benue State and Value Seeds Company Limited, Kano State.
The agreement which was non-exclusive and non-transferable was consummated last Thursday Syngenta Foundation’s office, Abuja.
The licensed seed was FUAMPEA 3, one of the 2022 newly approved and released varieties by the National Variety Release Committee (NVRC), which was developed by the University of Markudi with the sole purpose of enhancing food security and improving farmers’ yield.
This historical milestone came barely a year after President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, the Plant Variety Protection Bill 2021, to create a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria.
The law is aimed at providing recognition and proper remuneration for breeders who develop varieties and for improved agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
Gabriel Isaiah, the Country Program Manager of Syngenta Foundation, said the mission and mandate of the foundation were “to strengthen smallholder farming and food systems, catalyze market development and delivery of innovations, while building capacity across the public and private sectors.”
Isaiah noted that Syngenta is gradually changing the narrative to ensure that any variety developed by scientists get to the hands of smallholders’ farmers.