Federal Government to deploy bio-tech for food security
The Federal Government says it is working hard to apply genetic engineering and bio-technology to ensure food security.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this yesterday while declaring open a training workshop on Basic Laboratory Training on Living Modified Organisms Detection and Identification in Abuja.
He said government recognised the immense importance of genetic engineering and bio-technology to the country’s progress, adding that it would boost local production of food and commodities and minimise the need for import.
His words, “The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will continue to support the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in carrying out this very important mandate to help our country, not only in the area of agriculture, but also protecting our environment and ensuring that the desire of our nation to industrialise rapidly is achieved.”
Onu commended the ingenuity of the organisers of the conference, noting the presence of credible scientists from about 21 countries.
He added that their contribution would go a long way in bridging the knowledge gap in genetic engineering and bio-technology.
While expressing confidence in the purpose of the workshop, the minister said it would aid in the furtherance of knowledge, which would be of immense benefit to humanity.
Earlier, the Acting Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NABDA, Prof. Alex Akpa, had urged Nigeria to embrace bio-technology and genetic engineering for improvement in crops and animal production.
Akpa said, “We have made significant investment in modern bio-technology to assist in deepening awareness of the technology and its impact on national growth and development.”
He remarked that efforts made had yielded remarkable fruit in the field.
Representative of the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), Austein McLoughlin, said that close cooperation with developing nations should be sustained to identify the importance of living modified organisms.