Monthly Archives: December 2014

Biotechnology has become the hallmark of global development – Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola

Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola- Majority Leader House of Representative

Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola- Majority Leader House of Representative

In her bid to ensure the passage of the Biosafety Bill at the Nigeria House of Representative, The Leader of the House has informed her Honourable colleagues that Biotechnology will save Nigeria from being a dumping ground of GMOs. Honourable Mulikat Akande Adeola made this known in Abuja, during a one day sensitization workshop organized by The Nigerian Chapter of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).   According to Her, Biotechnology has become the hallmark of Global Development.  She therefore added that the forum was timely as it would serve as an avenue to showcase what Biotech has to offer to Members of the House of Representative.  While commending the various stakeholders in implementing various strategies that will ensure that Nigeria does not lack behind in ensuring food security for her growing population, She maintained that, the Biotechnology Industry needs to be well structured and managed so that it will be a veritable tool in addressing the increased demand for food, feed, renewable fuels and Natural Habitat which serves as succour in a developing Economy. In addition to this, she identified the need for members of the press to be carried along in the process, as they also have important roles to play in informing the public on the importance of Biotechnology in economic growth.

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Nigeria Signs Agreement on Agricultural Modern Technologies – VOICE OF NIGERIA

The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), on the application of modern technologies in agriculture for the benefit of farmers in the country. The Minister of Agriculture Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, while signing the MOU in Abuja, said the agricultural technology foundation would facilitate access to technologies for local farmers in Nigeria to boost their returns from the farm. Dr Adesina emphasized that science and technology was the solution to the challenges facing the agriculture sector.

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Nigeria, AATF sign MoU on Agric Technology Sharing Cooperation – Mohammed Kandi, Peoples Daily.

In an effort to provide Nigeria’s smallholder farmers access to cutting-edge agricultural technologies, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nairobi, Kenya-based African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF). This is to expand the cooperation of both countries in a wide range of areas, to enable farmers have access to better crop yield, wealth creation, as well as to reduce poverty amongst the farmeres. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Dr. Denis Kyetere, Executive Director AATF, signed the MoU recently in Abuja, as part of quest to boost collaboration of both organisations.

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Scientists Plot to Defeat Cowpea Pests – Ghana News Agency

CowpeaAccra, April 16, GNA Cowpea is considered the most important food grain legume in the dry savannas of tropical Africa where it is grown on more than 12.5 million hectares of land. Rich in quality protein, it has energy content almost equivalent to that of cereal grains, a good source of fodder for livestock and provides cash income. Nearly 200 million people in Africa consume the crop. However many biotic and abiotic factors greatly reduce cowpea productivity in traditional African farming systems……..

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Nigeria is ripe for Genetically Modified (GM) food – MOHAMMED KANDI; Peoples Daily.

Nigeria is ripe for Genetically Modified (GM) food – MOHAMMED KANDI; People’s Daily.

Genetically modified foodFor every laudable evolutionary agricultural discovery in Africa and the globe, Nigeria has either missed out of the pudding completely, or takes a queue from behind, a decision many agriculturalists have found appalling and a setback for national development. Recently, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, announced that the country has finally resolved to join the rest of the world to start harnessing bio-technology. He said Nigeria will increase its food production with the use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. Most analysts believe the decision is belated given that not a few African countries had already started benefiting a great deal from bio-technology driven farming system or GM crops for over a decade now. The minister said, “A regulatory system will be put in place to adequately test the technology. But then, the bio-safety act that passed by the Senate is yet to be signed into law by President Jonathan. Further, he assured that, “When the bill is eventually signed into law, it will also play a significant role.” Considering the positive impact of GM crops on some farming communities around the world, Adesina’s proclamation on it ignited ‘mix-grill’ reactions among stakeholders in the agricultural sector just as issues of GM food had done around the world.

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Researchers Inventing Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea For Africa – Ojoma Akor; DAILY TRUST

Cowpea, popularly called beans in Nigeria, is one of the country’s important food crops massively destroyed by a pest called pod borer or Maruca, which damage cowpea pods on farm fields thereby causing heavy losses to farmers and reducing cowpea productivity in the country and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Prof. Mahammad Faguji Ishiyaku, a plant breeder, Nigeria’s annual consumption of cowpea runs to several millions of tons and constitute a greater percentage of the world’s consumption of cowpea.
Ishiyaku, who is also the Principal Investigator of the Pod-borer Resistant Cowpea (PBR) Project, Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, said even though Nigeria is the largest producer, she is also the largest consumer making the country have an annual national grain demand deficit of over half a million tons, as the excess of 600, 000 metric tons grains is needed.
Experts say the average yield loss reported as a result of Maruca infestation on cowpea runs to as much as 70 to 80 percent. Some farmers resort to spraying with insecticides with the attendant health hazards; but others farmers cannot afford the spray as a result of the cost implication.

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Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea Project Meeting in Accra – Ghana News Agency

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan

Accra , April 14, GNA – Africa needs to embrace technological innovation to enable it produce more to feed its hungry people in the years ahead, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan said Monday.Africa, he said, should move from subsistence farming into commercial farming to enable farmers become more productive.For this reason the deputy minister said African scientists should bring on board global technology, which includes biotechnology that comes up with crop varieties that could stand the test of time and also meet Africa’s food challenges…….

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