…says science solution to food insecurity
ABUJA-THE National Biotechnology Development Agency, NABDA, has expressed worry over the decreasing population of farmers across the country where population continues to grow at a geometric proportion.
This was the concern of the Overseeing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, NABDA, Mr Abayomi Oguntunde, in his address at the 2018 ‘March for Science’ held at the weekend in Abuja.
Oguntade said it was a serious issue as the current population of over 180 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050 coupled with decreased arable land, poverty, malnutrition and hunger the conventional method of agriculture can no longer meet up with food demand by the people including animals science holds the solution to the nation’s food security.
He said: “The life of every one of us is highly dependent on scientific inventions, innovations and modern day technologies. Science has changed the lives of people largely which as we all know, have been deployed to every aspect of modernization and in sectors like Agriculture, Medicines, Environment, Education, Industry, Electricity, Aviation, Information, etc for both developing and developed nations.
“Modern Science in Nigeria is awakened by the continuous and hard efforts of the outstanding scientists and researchers who attempt scientific advances of highest international caliber. Just like other scientists across the world, Nigerian scientists have developed various scientific tools that can help in the area of food security, combating climate change, which, the public have not been fully aware of.
“This 2018 ‘March for Science’ therefore, has provided yet another opportunity for science supporters to come together, join voices to amplify available science-based solutions the nation can adopt to ensure food security.
“At the current population of over 180 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, Nigeria is faced with the risk of decreased farming population due to age; decreased arable land; poverty, malnutrition and hunger because the conventional method of agriculture can no longer meet up with our demand. Science holds the solution to our food security.”
He also asserted that there is need for Nigerians to show support and confidence in scientific innovations set to improve livelihoods like agricultural biotechnology, which he stated that the technology feeds most developed countries including the United States of America, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and have transformed farming to a profitable business, and added that with the current state of agriculture in Nigeria, it has become paramount to also adopt the technology to improve productivity and revive industries.
Meanwhile, Dr Abdulrazak Ibrahim of Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Assistant Director, NABDA/Country Coordinator, OFAB Africa, Nigeria Chapter, Dr Rose Gidado, have maintained that the benefits of biotechnology as opposed by some groups will add value to the lives of Nigerians.
According to them farmers stand to benefit a lot from biotechnology, which brings about increased productivity, cost reduction, increasing yield improving, protection from insects and diseases, increasing their crops’ tolerance to heat, drought, and other environmental stress.
“Processors will benefit from the technology as it will improve the quality and content of animal feed, food and energy sources, while consumer benefits include increased protein, healthier oils (Learn about Vistive Gold soybean oil).
“Biotechnology also positively impact the environment as it reduces agricultural impact on the land through conserve soil and energy, reduce greenhouse gases, minimize use of toxic herbicides, conserve soil fertility and natural resources”, they stated.