By Sylvester Thompson
Abuja, Sept. 28, 2020 The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) says it is collaborating with national and international scientists to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the best technology in a safe and productive manner.
NABDA’s Director-General, Prof. Alex Akpa spoke on Monday during an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
“In practical demonstration of this, NABDA unfolded a programme capable of producing five million yam seedlings, using the aeroponics technology for farmers across Nigeria, in this COVID-19 lockdown era.
“Last year, one million seedlings were produced and were distributed to farmers for cultivation,’’ Akpa said.
He asserts that with biotechnology, NABDA will increase agro-production using high quality produce and yield, reduce drudgery, improve resistance to pests and diseases in the agricultural sector.
According to Akpa, NABDA has grown to have more than 31 Bioresources Development Centres (BIODECs) around the country.
He notes that the BIODECs are charged with responsibilities of harnessing and developing the bioresources of host states and communities.
“These BIODECs impact on the lives of the people, by providing food on the table, creating jobs and empowering women and the youth through direct deployment of proven agricultural biotechnologies,’’ Akpa said.
He states that the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) is an advanced centre of NABDA.
Akpa says that the centre is responsible for the regulation of the seeds, livestock and fisheries industries, through its Varietal Release committees.
“NACGRAB also conducts research, gathers data and disseminates technological information on matters relating to genetic resources conservation, utilisation and biotechnology applications,” he noted.
Akpa discloses that NABDA, through NACGRAB, has released hundreds of improved varieties of crops, livestock and fisheries, being the main secretariat of the National Varietal Release Committee (NVRC).