NABDA urges farmers to adopt modern agricultural methods to boost production

Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), says Nigerian farmers must deploy modern scientific and technological tools to increase crop yields, resilience and nutrition.

Mustapha, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, explained that applying technological solutions would address food security challenges arising from population increase in the country.

According to him, biotechnology has already shown potentials to regenerate agricultural production with benefits demonstrated across 30 countries.

“From pest resistant crop varieties to biofortified staples packed with crucial vitamins and minerals, agricultural biotechnology offers solutions for greater productivity and food access.

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“Already we have testimonies from farmers across the country who are benefitting from products of modern agricultural biotechnology in the country.

“Example is the Pod Borer Resistant (BPR) cowpea developed by Nigerian scientists at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria, helping to overcome the devastating impacts of pests that caused 80 per cent destruction on farmers fields.

“Farmers are applying only two insect sprays against eight to 10 sprays previously, as a result of planting the PBR cowpea,” Mustapha said.

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He further said that farmers were also planting Biotech Cotton, another innovative product from modern biotechnology that is changing the game in cotton farming.

He said all these were made possible by the over 14-year partnership NABDA has had with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, and Bayer Agriculture Nigeria Plc.

On the acceptance of GMOs, Mustapha said that proven scientific information has put an end to the false narratives peddled about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

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The NABDA DG added that professionals with true knowledge of the sciences behind GMOs and other products of modern biotechnology, now have platforms to counter the hordes of misinformation about biotechnology products.

He expressed delight that Nigerian farmers have shrugged off the burden of misinformation about GMOs and embraced it for better and more profitable products.

Mustapha explained that the National Biotechnology Policy unveiled in 2001 and the establishment of NABDA, provided the platform for the dissemination of accurate and acceptable information on agricultural biotechnology.

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