Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to explore the potentials inherent in the National Agricultural Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) to ensure food sufficiency.
The CSOs under the auspices of Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiative also said that economic diversification would create job opportunities and boost the nation’s foreign earnings.
Notable among the CSOs at the meeting were the Centre for Peace transparency and Accountability, represented by Engr. Patrick Ogheneyero and the Civil Society Groups for Good Governance which was represented by Comr. Dominic Ogakwu.
A statement issued after its meeting on Monday, the group maintained confidence in the Federal Government’s economic recovery and growth plan stating that NABDA has a lot to contribute in terms of non-oil export boosting.
According to the statement signed by the Convener and National Coordinator Comr. Solomon Adodo, Nigerians will benefit more if government heeds to the call to prioritise the activities of NABDA.
“The global biotechnology market is expected to reach USD 727.1 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The emergence of certain key themes in the biotechnology market is expected to drive growth in this industry to a lucrative extent.
“To tap into this bright prospect leaves the Federal Government with only the option of giving the desired support to the agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating biotechnology.
“The fact that the Buhari led administration has midwifed a robust inter Agency partnership between the NABDA and other agricultural and/or research based Agencies is quite commendable judging from the results so far obtainable in BT Cowpea and BT cotton seeds.
“Already, there are testimonies of economic prosperity from cotton and Cowpea farmers who have embraced the BT cotton and Cowpea seeds,” the statement quoted Adodo as saying.
The Forum further commended NABDA for its pioneering role and achievements in the development of sustainable agriculture through the utilisation of biotechnology tools such as culture, molecular breeding and genetic engineering.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Biotechnology is touted to creating wealth through agricultural and environmental products.
The Federal Government approved the establishment of National Biotechnology Policy in April 2001, aware of the importance of biotechnology in national development.
The policy is to among other things promote biotechnology activities that positively respond to national aspirations on food security, job/wealth creation, affordable healthcare delivery and sustainable environment, among others.