Thursday, 1st June 2023
Breaking News:

NLNG Prize for Science seeks innovations to sustain food security in Nigeria

By Paul Adunwoke
19 May 2022   |   2:47 am
Scientists have advocated the need to find some lasting scientific solutions and approaches to attaining sustainable food security, as it is critical to the country’s survival

[FILES] Food market

Scientists have advocated the need to find some lasting scientific solutions and approaches to attaining sustainable food security, as it is critical to the country’s survival and elimination of hunger in Nigeria.

The scientists said the trending forecast showed there might be severe food challenges waiting to implode in Nigeria if action is not taken to reduce the challenges facing the agricultural industry in Nigeria.

The scientists made this known when Nigeria Prize for Science received 107 entries for the 2022 edition, which is sponsored by Nigeria NLNG Limited. The Prize for Science, which was held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, was titled ‘Innovations in Sustainable Food Security.

The Advisory Board for the prize, chaired by Prof. Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Power, handed over 107 entries to the judges, headed by Prof. Christian Ugwu Agbo, of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

NLNG General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mr. Andy Odeh, represented by the acting Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Mrs. Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, stated that scientists were needed now, more than ever in the country’s history, to wade off a food crisis that would negatively impact sustainable development goals.

He said NLNG is very keen on ensuring that Nigeria Prize for Science creates opportunities for positive impact in all spheres of life in Nigeria. “This is why we are taking continuous improvement steps to revitalise and rekindle the drive for development and to build a better Nigeria, in line with our company’s vision,” he said

Odeh explained that the programme was their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to give back to the society where they operate.

He said: “This is because our vision of being a globally competitive LNG Company helping to build a better Nigeria rests on promoting excellence everywhere we see it. And no nation can develop without excellence in Science/Innovation and in the Arts/Humanities.

“This as you might know is our reason for sponsoring the Nigeria prizes for science, literature and literary criticism. And in this journey of about 18 years, we have been blessed to have the support of distinguished Nigerians, serving as members of the advisory boards and as Judges.”

Prof. Nnaji, said the science prize was an opportunity to change the narrative about the country’s development. He stated that the state of the nation mirrors the state of science and scientific research in the country. He challenged the judges to remain resolute and focused on excellence, sound research, and innovation.

Nnaji said he was particularly happy that the 2022 prize cycle was off to a great start and he remains optimistic that the board will find quality works in the submissions and ultimately find one worthy of the prize.

However, Nnaji stated he was happy to see changes to the collective national narrative based on the applications of the solutions that this prize brings way forward.

He said: “As clearly Nigeria Prize for Science aims at celebrating excellence in scientific breakthroughs and honours scientists from anywhere in the world who help find solutions to a local or ‘Nigerian’ problem as defined and advertised by the advisory board for the prize.”

Nnaji said the topic for this year is significant because at the global level, Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. This entails improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices.

He noted that the significant number of entries recorded this year, 107, which is more than any they have ever received since the inception of the prize, gives him hope that later in the year, they will have a winner. “We thank Nigeria LNG for this great gift to our nation and we continue to call on other corporate bodies to come up with similar initiatives, supporting both Sciences and Arts, to help advance our movement from a consumer economy to a producer economy”.

Nnaji added: “We are set to hand over the entries to the judges so that they can commence the process we are all looking forward to.”