By Anayo Okoli
Umudikeâ€”A university teacher, Professor Hillary Edeoga has called for the establishment of specialized Medicinal Plant Research Institutes in the country to assist in providing cure for some of the dreaded diseases ravaging the country.
Professor Edeoga, who is the Dean, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, told journalists that such an institute would go a long way in helping Nigeria realise the goals of Vision 20: 2020.
Edoga, the immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture in Enugu State, explained that the country has the capacity to become a global leader in natural and traditional medicinal products if properly harnessed.
â€œA research institute like Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow in India should be established in Nigeria with emphasis on those plants with high economic valuesâ€, Edoga said.
According to him, Nigeria has an estimated 4000 plant species that provide food, fiber, pharmaceutical products, building materials, utensils and fuel for personal use and for sale in local, regional and international markets.