From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has said that the application of biotechnology in Nigeria would assist farmers to benefit from their agricultural efforts.
NABDA Director-General/CEO Prof Abdullahi Mustapha indicated this at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop for journalists, farmers and agric extension agents in Kano.
He observed that over the years the technology has been undermined by arm-chair critics who took advantage of the media to spread their unscientific views about the agricultural area.
He regretted that this unscientific activism has been stalling much-desired progress in agricultural development and has instilled fear in many farming communities in Nigeria.
‘Today, the population of our farming communities is seriously under threat, the use of hoe and cutlass is also becoming a threat and our population is not decreasing but increasing geometrically,’ Prof Mustapha observed.
Citing the benefits of biotechnology, he recalled that Nigeria recently made history as the first country to develop a variety of cowpea that is resistant to the notorious bean pod borer.
Prof Mustapha also noted that biotechnology has helped other countries turn around their fortunes, enhanced the quality of their food and national food security, profited their farmers and attracted their younger generation to farming.
While saying that Nigeria cannot be left out of this progress, he advocated for a responsible technology deployment that guarantees high yield, keeps pest and diseases away and yields bumper harvests.