‘To reduce poverty, Nigeria must ensure food security via biotech’ - DAILY TRUST
By Zakariyya Adaramola & Vincent A. Yusuf
The only way Nigeria can reduce poverty and ensure food security is to fully adopt biotechnology in the country, the Acting Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa, has said.
Prof. Akpa also said biotechnology was capable of stopping the perennial farmers/herders clashes in some parts of the North.
He spoke in Abuja at a media training organised by the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB), Nigeria chapter.
The NABDA DG who said biotechnology was not new in the world, disclosed that the technology was only being modernised.
“Production of some local delicacies like akamu is biotechnology. The technology isn’t new at all; it has only recently been undergoing transformation and modernisation. The world itself is dynamic and everything undergoes change, and that is exactly what happened to biotech,’’ he said.
He further said the same DNA technology used in vaccine production was also used in biotechnology or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
He added that NABDA had the capacity to tap into the world’s $27bn rapid medical diagnostic kits market, and that the agency was partnering with Cuba on making world class medical diagnostic kits.
Giving update on the GMO cowpea release so far, the Country Coordinator of OFAB, Dr. Rose Gidado, said a lot of progress had been made and GMO beans wholly developed by Nigerian scientist, Prof. Mohammed Ishaku, of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, would soon hit the market across the country.