Experts  seek use of biotechnology to boost food production


By: Bamidele Fashube

The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), and the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) on Tuesday, sought the use of biotechnology to boost food production.

This was disclosed during a webinar session tagged: “Media Summit on Status of Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Nigeria”, organized by NABDA.

The Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa stressed the use of biotechnology in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.

“Biotechnology has other applications; in agriculture, it is massive and that is where most post-COVID-19 is coming, you find out that here in NABDA, using Biotechnology we have started impacting massively in the area of agriculture.

“For instance, in our yam multiplication programme, last year, we were able to produce one million yam seedlings and this year, we are targeting five million yam seedlings, all these things are feasible because of biotechnology,” he said.

On his part, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim said it was imperative to explore the option of the use of innovation to upscale food production to bring about food sufficiency to avert hunger due to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stressed the need to sensitise smallholder farmers to embrace technological advancement to avert hunger caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying to achieve food security modern technologies such as biotechnology must be used.

“Already, a lot of work has been going on to commercialise cowpea, maize, cassava, rice, sorghum as well as cotton and the farmers are seeing good results so it is, therefore, easy to get them to embrace biotechnology,” he said.

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