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MOUAU calls for new crop varieties that can cope with climate change challenges

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Climate change

Professor of Plant Breeding and Seed production at the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia state, Dr. Peter Iwuno Okocha, has stressed the imperative need for the country to develop new crop varieties that would cope with the effects of climate change

He also advised that Nigeria must identify donors of useful genes to be able to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Okocha stated this while delivering the University’s 32nd inaugural lecture with the topic “Gene: The Engine that drives Plant Breeding.” He predicted that impending disaster might befall Nigerians and indeed Africans by the effects of climate change, should these effects continue much longer.

He defined Gene as the molecular unit of hereditary of a living organ that plays important role in determining physical characteristics as well as carrying information that make the individual look the way it appears.

Okocha further posited that the successful application of classical plant breeding to date is not in doubt with the numerous achievements in development of new and high yielding crop varieties worldwide.

According to him, it was the successful application of plant Breeding that led to the green revolution of the 1960s and early 1970s, which he said, were recorded in Asian and Latin American countries.

He added that it was only Africa that failed to attain green revolution and that the era of application of biotechnological tools in plant breeding is also eluding many African countries.

He considered it unlikely that the developed world or our profit-oriented private sector will come to our help hence he alerted “ we are at the brink of a new era that may have very drastic consequences for us as a people, if we fail to wake up from our slumber.”


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