Trainees of Leventis Agricultural Training School Yaba went on a two day excursion to the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) on Tuesday, 21st and Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017 respectively. All senior staff of Rural Enterprise, Crop Production and Agricultural Engineering departments and Trainees on industrial attachment were involved.
The aim of this excursion was to expose trainees to the activities of the NASC and possible opportunities existing in the seed production business.
Activities which took place during the visit includes the following:
i.) Anintroductory talk on seeds to brief the participants on the importance of seeds and the difference between a grain and seed.
ii.) A second activity explained how to carry out feasibility studies for a seed business/agribusiness to determine the profitability of the venture.
iii.) Thirdly, various factors/pre-requisites for quality seed production were stressed including seed type, planting time, cultural practices, harvesting and storage practice etc.
iv.) Fourthly, Trainees were taken to the workshop where there was a first hand view of available seed treatment machines. The various processes which the seed passes through were shown. This includes drying, cleaning, grading chambers and seed storage in seed bank.
v.) The laboratory tour was next on the programme. Trainees were taken to the various units and told what takes place in each:
- Moisture content unit: Optimum moisture content for seed is determined here.
- Purity Unit: This unit ensures no impurities are in the seeds like stones, weed seeds etc. seed quality is determined /ensured.
- Germination test unit: seeds are grown in a particular media to ascertain the growth rate/percentage.
- Seed health unit (Auto clave room): This unit determines how healthy a seed is and how well it can grow. Does it contain growth requirements?
- Biochemical test unit: Determines if a seed is normal or abnormal.
- Acceleration/Ageing unit: Determines how long the seed can stay/live.
vii.) Trainees were enlightened on the business opportunities in the seed industry e.g. out growers, seed marketers, seed dealers etc.
viii.) Finally, was the visit to the Council’s library.
This excursion was geared towards making the Trainee’s of the Foundation acquired knowledge required to become successful agribusiness entrepreneurs in seed production.