Prof. Benjamin Ubi, the President, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN), has identified food insecurity as an underlining cause of some of the greatest challenges in the country.
Ubi, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, added that biotechnology would ensure adequate food security in the country.
“We recognise that food security is paramount and biotechnology, the green alternative policy of the government, will achieve its goal of ending hunger, ensuring food security and promoting sustainable agriculture.
“This will also provide a form of economic diversification as it will bring with it a new set of skill requirements and expand job opportunities.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reinforce this with Goal 2 which seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture since 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmer’s field,’’ Ubi said.
He also said that better use of agricultural biodiversity could contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming system.
“The effects of climate change have had a devastating effect on food security, food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability.
“And for Nigeria to be food sufficient, we must look to scale, underscoring the need for modern and climate smart agricultural practices.
“We must look to increase investment, including through international cooperation, rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development as well as plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productivity capacity.’’
Ubi said that the practice of safe modern biotechnology should be encouraged to ensure zero hunger by welcoming technology that would provide safe and adequate food for Nigerians.
He, therefore, implored stakeholders to put more efforts in developing the country’s local resources to meet agriculture demands both at local and international trade platforms.