Mrs Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu, the Secretary, National Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (NBBC), has called on Nigerians to embrace the use of agricultural biotechnology to transform agriculture and enhance food security.
Agbaegbu said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that application of modern biotechnology in agriculture was central to food security.
She said with Nigeria’s population of over 180 million, the country needed more food to feed its citizens.
“Food, like shelter and clothing, is important as one of the three most essential ingredients of life.
“The UN Food and Agriculture Programme recently stated that global production of food, feed and fibre will need to double approximately by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population,’’ she said.
According to her, Nigeria is among countries of the world where the percentage of the population suffering from malnutrition, hunger and starvation is still high.
The NBBC secretary stressed that science, modern agriculture and crop farming through biotechnology held the key to dealing with the challenges in food security.
She said that advances in science had resulted in accelerated development, including the application of biotechnology in agriculture, to improve overall livelihood, productivity and food security.
‘’The promises of biotech crops can only be unlocked if farmers are able to buy and plant these crops, following a scientific approach to regulatory reviews and approvals.
“Advances are also being realised in many African countries. In 2016, South Africa and Sudan increased the planting of biotech maize, soybean and cotton to 2.66 million hectares from 2.29 million hectares in 2015. Read more