BIOTECHNOLOGY OFFERS FARMERS HOPE Jun 6, 2018 23:11:03 GMT 1
Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jun 6, 2018 23:11:03 GMT 1
The Co-ordinator, Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB), Nigerian Chapter has said the country stands to gain from the adoption of biotechnology.
The benefits of biotechnology, according to her, will be evenly spread among biotech companies, farmers and consumers, adding that it will immensely contribute to agricultural productivity.
Speaking as a panelist in Lagos, she said Genetic Modification Technology (GMT) is an important instrument for plant breeders.
“GM Technology makes it easier for the breeder to transfer genes of desired traits from unrelated specie of crop to an unrelated specie solving problems that can’t be solved in conventional breeding.”
While arguing that GM Technology will make quality seeds available to farmers, she said biotechnology creates opportunities; increases crop yields; reduces losses to insects, pests and diseases; post harvest storage problems and enhances the nutritional value of some crops.
She added that resistance to a biotic stress, such as drought and high soil salinity, resulting in increased crop production and empowerment of youths in rural areas are other accruable benefits from application of biotechnology.
The OFAB coordinator said countries such as Burkina Faso and Brazil are already reaping the benefit of embracing biotechnology as their farmers are smiling to banks. “The income of Nigerian farmers will increase, like in Burkina Faso where BT cotton has been embraced, the income of farmers has increased by 51per cent, and the farmers make a lot of money. Burkina Faso makes $1.2billion yearly and Brazil $2billion yearly from biotechnology,” she said.
She added that the hectares cultivated by farmers in those countries continue to increase yearly and more farmers are now beginning to adopt the technology.