The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has reiterated the need to adopt Biotechnology in agricultural activities in Africa and Nigeria in particular, noting that about 250 million people were suffering from malnutrition.
The Director General of NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, disclosed this in Abuja recently when the agency organised a special dinner to celebrate World Farmers Day.
Mustapha stated that Biotechnology has become one of the identified solutions to the challenge of hunger and malnutrition in the African continent.
He stated that ” Africa is the continent most affected by hunger, with over 250 million people undernourished.
“Hunger and malnutrition are often linked to poverty, with nearly 9 out of 10 hungry people living in developing countries.
He explained that the ” dinner is a rare opportunity to honour farmers and raise awareness about the important role they play in ensuring food security, and at the same time discuss the importance of National Farmers Day and how it can be implemented in the country”.
Also Speaking, Dr Rose Gidado, Director of the Agricultural Biotechnology Department, at NABDA, said Nigeria needs to do more in fighting the menace of hunger and malnutrition.
Gidado added that ” While there have been significant strides made in reducing hunger and malnutrition, there is still much work to be done, especially in the Global South. One way to address this issue is by supporting and recognizing the contributions of smallholder farmers who grow crops and foods that are the backbone of the food systems in these countries.
Earlier in his remarks, Dr. Jean Baptiste, the Regional Representative, Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said “The agricultural sector has always been subject to numerous uncertainties and adversities, be it unpredictable weather patterns, pests, diseases, or market fluctuations.
“However, despite these hurdles, our farmers have consistently risen to the occasion, adapting to changing circumstances and embracing innovative practices to ensure a bountiful harvest”.