Lokoja hosts Awareness Campaign Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology

The Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada has stressed the need for a Bio-safety law to be integrated in the production of Agricultural technologies, in view of its usefulness despite negative influence of environmentalists.

The State Governor stated this when he received the Director General, CEO, National Biotechnology Development Agency and Chairman, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Africa, Nigeria Chapter Chairman, Prof Solomon Bamidele Ogbe in his office who was in the state for the North Central Zone awareness campaign.

Capt. Wada who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, said the need to educate and enlighten consumers on the value chain of Biotech products has become necessary.

The State Governor assured of the administration’s partnership with NABDA in creating awareness that will aid boost food productivity, food security and improves the socio-economic life of the people.

Capt. Wada urged the Agency to seek new and reliable methods for increasing productivity and sustain ability, disclosing that the present administration is resolutely committed to using Agriculture to create employment, boosts its earnings and revenue.

Earlier in his speech, Professor Bamidele Ogbe Solomon, the Nigeria Chair, said the time for Africa to explore great opportunities that biotechnology offers is now.

He disclosed that NABDA is looking at partnering with the Kogi State Government through the State Ministry of Agriculture, called for the assent to the Bio-safety Bill, which had already been passed by the National Assembly.

He called on the State Government to place emphasis on the production of sesame seed which is of comparative advantage to the State when properly harnessed.

At the stakeholders open forum, with the theme “Embracing the Agricultural Transformation Agenda” aimed at proposing a unique intervention towards enhancing sesame seeds production and utilization through biotechnology, the Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, said with increasing rate of people living in hunger across the country, the need to meet increasing demand for food and to eradicate hunger from the face of humanity remains imperative through increase in the production and supply of food by improved plant breeding method.

The Governor commended the successes recorded in the production of rice in the State, said more efforts would be put in place for improved performance.

In his remarks, Professor Bamidele Solomon Chairman of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Africa, Nigeria Chapter, said biotechnology offers efficient and cost effective ways of producing diverse array of crops, value added products and foods.

The Chairman noted that increased climatic variability as well as less arable land availability per person is some challenges which calls for modification in crop production.

He solicited government partnership towards improved crop varieties.

Earlier in his speech, the Commissioners for Agriculture and his counterpart from Science and Technology, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin and Dr. Abdulmumuni Usman, lauded the role biotechnology can play in increased production of crops with the increased in population and governments attempt to eradicate hunger.

A paper on enhancing sesame seed production and utilization through biotechnology, brief presentation of OFAB activities, goodwill message as well as an interactive session and inspection of exhibition stand of some variety of crops developed biotechnology was inspected by the representative of the State Governor.

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