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Why Nigeria’s food products can’t compete globally, by Minister

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Ogbonnaya Onu

Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the low and inappropriate application of science, technology and innovation in agriculture in Nigeria is responsible for the inability of nation’s agricultural products to compete globally.
 
Onu stated this at the stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on animal biotechnology applications and regulatory perspectives organised by the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Abuja.
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The minister, who noted that Africa’s economy was heavily dependent on agriculture, said the sector accounts for about 35 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), 40 per cent of its exports and 70 per cent of employment in the content.
 
Onu added that many challenges confronting the nation would be solved with the proper application of science and technology to agriculture.
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He said: “The component of science and technology in modern agricultural practice is more than 90 per cent if we consider the whole agricultural chain. It is the low content of science and technology in agricultural practice in Africa that has resulted in low productivity, low yield and inability to compete globally.
 
“This has adversely affected African economies with its negative implications for the people’s livelihood. While rural people strive to feed themselves, urban residents spend most of their earnings on food, leaving very little for their basic needs, such as health, education and shelter.”

Noting that NABDA had a greater role in finding solutions to the conflicts that exist between animal and crop farmers in the country, the minister urged the agency to intensify research in improving productivity and yield in animal farming in the country.

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