THE Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB), Nigerian chapter, has advocated the use of technology to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in agriculture.
OFAB in a statement released by the country coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, also said the challenge of food production and distribution during the outbreak of the pandemic could be addressed with technology.
The statement reads: “The resilience of the livelihoods of African farmers who constitute nearly 65% of the population will inevitably be tested during and after the pandemic.
“Nevertheless, it is our view that technological innovations can contribute to management of the pandemic and to mitigate its negative impacts. In managing the disease, the killer blow to COVID-19 pandemic lies more on scientific research and innovations including biotechnology that could deliver a vaccine soon.
“In addition, challenges in the food production and distribution during the outbreak of pandemics can also be addressed through technology. Presently, Africa can access more advanced technologies to combat farming challenges than at any other time in history.
“Some of these technologies include high yielding crop varieties that can perform well under drought conditions, can resist pests and diseases and can utilise nutrients more efficiently.
“Other novel technologies include farm mechanisation options and digital agriculture solutions for crop management and knowledge dissemination.
“Whereas high yielding varieties can boost countries’ self-sufficient goals and reduce farmers’ vulnerability to pandemics, digital agriculture solutions offer a range of opportunities to COVID-19 related challenges on labour and input supply.
“Increased sales of agricultural drones in China recently exhibited their usefulness during labour shortage and social distancing situations. Digital agriculture solutions that link farmers to buyers and logistics services could also mitigate impacts of pandemics while shared mechanisation services can avert reductions in cropped areas caused by labor shortages while increasing production.
“Technologies with compelling potential for increasing productivity and dealing with pandemics are poorly adopted due to lack of an enabling policy, regulatory and institutional environment. Investment in the sector remains very low across the continent.
“It remains to be seen if the advent of COVID-19 may highlight and test governments resolve to explore the potential usage of technology in addressing the scourge and its impacts.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to inflict more pain as most modelling projections seem to indicate that the worst is probably yet to come, there is still hope.
“Technological advancement leading to better scientific understanding of factors that incubate pandemics have helped to reduce morbidity and mortalities. What is left is for policy makers to create the necessary incentives to accelerate the use of technologies to improve crop production and avert disruptions to production and marketing systems which is a sure bet towards enhancing the resilience of farmers while cushioning vulnerable individuals”.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
COVID-19: Buhari May Announce New Policy Monday
President Muhammadu Buhari may on Monday announce new measures as the nation battles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Towards this, on Sunday, the president received a briefing and recommendations on efforts further contain the spread of the virus from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on… Read full story
Lagos Considers Full Reopening Of Economy
Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Sunday that the state government is considering full re-opening of the critical sectors of its economy, but quickly noted that the move would not be pushed in a hurry. The governor gave this indication while at a briefing after the State’s Security Council meeting held at the… Read full story
MONDAY LINES: Agboola Gambari’s Burning Grass
What should Nigeria expect from you as Chief of Staff?”: “I don’t report directly to the nation; I report to the president.” “What should he (the president) expect from you? What can you assure him?” “I think you should ask the president. I give him my loyalty, competence and support.” “What will be your guiding principle as Chief of Staff?”… Read more
COVID-19: Buhari May Announce New Policy Monday
President Muhammadu Buhari may on Monday announce new measures as the nation battles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Towards this, on Sunday, the president received a briefing and recommendations on efforts further contain the spread of the virus from the Presidential Task Force… Read full story
COVID-19: Ganduje, Deputy, Political Office Holders’ Salaries Cut By Half
Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his deputy, all commissioners and other political office holders from the month of May would receive half salary due to COVID-19 pandemic challenges on the state’s… Read full story
Israel’s Netanyahu Sworn In As Head Of Long-Awaited Unity Government
Israel’s parliament has sworn in a new government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz, ending the longest political crisis in the country’s history, Aljazeera reports. After more than 500 days without a stable government and three inconclusive elections, lawmakers in the… Read full story
EDITORIAL: The Infectious Diseases Bill
THE spontaneous anger triggered by the bill titled Infectious Diseases Control Bill 2020 has subsisted because of the resolve by the leadership of the House of Representatives to stick to its gun on the matter. The bill is being sponsored by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamilla; Pascal Obi, the chairman, House Committee on… Read full story
Buhari Receives PTF Report On COVID-19 Containment Effort
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received a report from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the COVID-19 pandemic on the effort at the containment of its spread. The task force led by its chairman and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, met the president at his… Read full story
WHO To Kick Off International Meet Amid US-China Tensions
The World Health Organization will on Monday kick off its first-ever virtual assembly, but fears abound that US-China tensions could derail the strong action needed to address the COVID-19 crisis. The World Health Assembly, which has been trimmed from the usual three weeks to just two days, Monday and Tuesday… Read full story
The Coming Anti-Christ And The Africans
This is an imaginary essay. But it fits in with the economic, geopolitical and spiritual realities of our world today. By a dream-vision, I was taken to the Infernal Kingdom where I beheld Satan sitting on his throne with glittering pomp. The powers and principalities were paying obeisance to him, prostrate on the ground… Read full story
How Businesses Can Thrive During Peak And Trough
Business never follows a linear path. Rather, business runs in cycles; boom and bust, peak and trough, good and bad, great and tough. However, irrespective of the cycle in which a business finds itself, the stakeholders’ expectations remain unchanged – value must be delivered to them; customers expect quality… Read full story
Speaking Against Evil Is Not An Act Of Disobedience
What is good becomes bad, when it is done at the wrong time. Also, it is good to be hushed and silent, but when you are silent and still when you are to speak out, silence becomes bad. Sleep is good, but when done at the wrong time, it becomes bad. It is good to rest at home, but when you rest at home at the wrong time… Read full story
Leadership: Lessons Along The Way – 2
In the course of fulfilling your life assignment, many people will be engaged in the process, for good or for ill. You will be making the greatest mistake of your life by assuming that just because people gleefully got involved with what you are doing translates to their being committed to you. Those who are committed to… Read full story