The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has called on Nigerian farmers to embrace the application of modern agricultural biotechnology in a bid to aid the country in its pursuit of food security.
Nanono, who made the call at the 2019 Seed Fair organised by National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), in Abuja, said the application of modern biotechnology to plant breeding is considered to be more efficient and quicker than conventional breeding techniques in the development of new and more resilient crop varieties.
The Minister noted that BT Cotton has been officially released in Nigeria while the BT cowpea is undergoing the final stages of release and registration by the National Varietal Release Committee.
He charged the research Institutes to develop crops that can thrive without excessive use of chemicals so that Nigerian crops would not be rejected in the international market just as beans have been rejected in the European Union market.
He disclosed plans to authorise the research institutes to produce patented seeds and distribute to farmers to create competition.
According to him, “we need to rationalise research institutes and make them more cost-effective and more productive if we want to achieve what we want to achieve. I am a farmer; I know what it means to have good and bad seeds.”