What is Hindering Biotechnology Adoption in Nigeria
The country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr Rose Gidado, has disclosed that over-dependence on food imports currently poses a challenge to the adoption of new technologies in Africa.
She said Africa is lagging behind in terms of food security due to low productivity.
Dr Gidado made this known in Abuja at the ongoing Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication (ABBC) Symposium with the theme “Accelerating Africa’s Agric-Biotech Tipping Point: Taking Stock and Celebrating the Gains”.
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She said the symposium is a unifying factor for Africa, especially in the area of agricultural development.
Dr Gidado noted that Africa is always lagging behind due to lack of understanding about the new technologies coming in.
The OFAB Country Coordinator, while stating that innovative technology is a scientific venture, said science does not lie because it is a collection of facts.
According to her, the continent is doing its best to attain food security through the use of innovative technology like the modern biotechnology practice, geno editing and any technology that will make farmers access improved seeds and seedlings that can actually help them to ensure that their productivity is being raised high.
“This is the best practice that we can follow in order to get where other developed countries in the world like the USA, Argentina and India have gone. It is this technology that helped them to get to where they are.
Speaking on the symposium, she said this is not the first time Africa will be having the symposium. “We started in 2015 and it is very significant”.
“This symposium is for the continent to come together to profile solutions, synthesize the best communication strategies and policies dialogue,” she said.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, harped on the need to have a strategic and acceptable communication that would lead to the acceptance of new technologies.
Ebegba said, without strategic communication, wrong information will be given to the public while new products should not be accepted.
He said: “Every technology in the world is to ensure the economic benefit of citizens, so when you come up with a product that you think is useful, you must convince the public about it that they are useful, safe and good for the economy.”
The Regional Director for the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) West Africa, Dr Issoufou Kollo, said apart from the progress made so far in biotech crops, the Foundation will be looking at other areas like nutrition which is very important.
“Biotechnology is making some progress in the country and that is very important for us,” he added.