The Seed Technology Programme of the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, came into existence in the year 2012 and is the newest addition to the Institute.

The role of the Seed Technology Programme is inherent in the mandate of the Institute as it is a platform designed for the production of high quality seeds in Root and Tuber crop. Progress in agriculture depends on production and distribution of quality seeds, best yielding varieties with desirable characteristics. Seed technology takes care of this.

The term “seed” is used to denote botanical seed, tubers, roots or other plants parts. Good seeds/planting materials naturally implies freedom from diseases, insects and pests as well as other physiological qualities.
Other aspects of Seed Technology include: Production, Processing, Certification, Testing, Storage, Entomology, Pathology and Marketing.

The National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, has strategically positioned and upgraded Root and Tuber crop production nationally by offering improved varieties of crops that are to address food security issues; through in-depth research and application. The role of the Seed Technology programme, is therefore to, consolidate and ensure availability of these products to the end users.

The Specific objectives include:
1. To develop an effective Seed Programme for the production of quality seed in Root and Tuber crops.
2. To collaborate with breeders in commodity crop Programmes within the Institute and National Seed Council to produce breeders, certified and foundation seed in root and tuber crops.
3. To develop an effective agronomic and cultural practice for production of quality seed in root and tuber crops.
4. To develop a good management and control measure for diseases and pests in root and tuber crops seed production.
5. To apply modern Agricultural biotechnology and other techniques for rapid cleaning and multiplication of seed in root and tuber crops.
6. To develop an effective post-harvest management of seed in root and tuber crops.
The Seed Technology Programme is a multi-disciplinary platform that requires the collaborative effort of all Scientists across the Commodity Crop programmes of the Institute.

Collaborating Institutions:
National Agricultural Seeds Council, Abuja: The presence of the South East regional office located within the Institute ensures that compliance with production of certified quality seeds achieved.

Achievements

Fig 1 and 2: Planting of improved varieties of Cassava on 0.5ha land area at Igbariam, Anambra state. The same activity was also carried out at Umudike, Abia state and Otobi, Benue State on 0.5ha area of land.


Fig 3 and 4: Harvesting of improved Sweetpotato variety in progress at Umudike.

Present Research Interest
• Establishment of Pilot plots for certified foundation seeds in all the Agro-ecological zones for supply to Out-growers
• Capacity Development on key areas of Seed Technology: Seed certification, seed storage, etc., for Research staff of the programme

DR. M. H. TOKULA
Assistant Director
Programme Coordinator 
mark.tokula@nrcri.gov.ng