Nigeria’s dream of achieving food sufficiency in 2015 will be a mirage, unless the country adopts biotechnology in its agricultural sector, says agricultural experts.
Participants at the 10th anniversary of Africa Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF) seminar made this observation recently in Abuja.
AATF urged Mr. President to sign into law, the bio-safety bill currently before him, saying that this would open up a new vista for massive production of food for local consumption and export, irrespective of other reforms going on in the sector.
The new law is expected to usher in a new era in the deployment of biotechnology to boost food production, ensure food security and reduce the high incidence of food importation.
Agricultural biotechnology is the application of technology to agriculture to make, modify or improve on a product for the benefit of mankind.
AATF explained that it chose the most expedient way to agricultural development in Africa by embracing and investing in proprietary technology acquisition, development, adaptation and adoption for use by the resource-poor farmers of Africa.
According to the Foundation, African farmers have over the years faced many challenges in their attempts to increase productivity; pre- and post-harvest crop losses due to pests, diseases, weeds and droughts have resulted in low yields, as well as risks and fluctuations in incomes and food availability.
“Improved agricultural technologies were the key to agricultural development in many of the worlds developed economies of today and remain the key to development of the agricultural sectors in Africa,” says AATF.