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March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These discoveries have saved the lives of countless people battling withbacterial infections; the number one cause of death in the last century and made possible today’s advances in the treatment of human diseases. Significantly, advances in the agricultural sciences and plant breeding through Green Revolution, has also saved millions of people from starvation.

Farmers all over the world face the challenge of doubling food production to meet the needs of a population that is expected to reach nine billion by mid-century and maintaining soil and water quality and conserving biodiversity. Maintenance and reservation of natural resources and need to support the livelihoods of farmers and rural populations around the world are major concerns. These challenges which are mainly linked to climate change, food safety and security, poverty and social exclusion, global warming, depletion of fossil fuel resources and fights against disease are already high on the public and political agendas.

In Nigeria, the challenges together with other constraints such as insect range expansion, extreme weather increase, weed pressure and Fulani herdsmen have broadened the scope of the impact. Agriculture, which needed to increase production by 70% to feed the population, is grossly affected by these natural hazards and disasters. Therefore, innovation and technology are fundamental to Agricultural transformation, in the reduction of major impacts and Nigerians, particularly farmers need to make decisions under these extreme unstable and insecure circumstances. Besides, there is need to support farmers and increase access to innovation, impact policy and improve public perception. Read more