BIOTECHNOLOGY Society of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to tackle the challenges of biotechnology research, through collective actions aimed at shaping policies around biotechnology in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, with emphasis on food and nutrition security.
President of the society, Benjamin Ubi, made this known while delievering his address at the opening ceremony of the 32nd annual international biotechnology conference which was held recently in Ibadan.
The conference with the theme: “Biotechnology to Enhance Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa” was put together to fashion out ways to advance biotechnology inputs in Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
He noted that the role of biotechnology in the agriculture development can not be overemphasised. “We would strive as much as we could to ensure we put machinery in motion to tackle challenges militating biotechnology research through various actions to achieve optimal results.”
In his keynote address, Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Yemi Akinbamijo, while highlighting the importance of technology in agriculture, also called for more science in politics and less politics in science.
The event had various topics treated, which included Sustainable use of Nigeria’s mega-biodiversity for enriching nutrition and health; Biotechnologies/fermentation technologies for large-scale industrial enzyme production for the food; Plant genetic resources utilisation in developing resilient crops to adapt agriculture to climate change; Bio-resources utilization in fostering a low-carbon renewable energy-based economy; Expanding the frontiers of microbiomes for innovations in agriculture and medicine.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga has charged the society to take the front row and become Africa’s voice for biotechnology on a global landscape.
Dr Sanginga made the call during a courtesy visit made to him in his office in Ibadan, when a delegation of the Board of Trustees and National Executive Council members paid him a visit, led by Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe, during the 32nd annual international conference of the BSN.
Sanginga who lauded the society for choosing IITA to host this year’s event also expressed satisfaction at the level of competency in biotechnology research in Nigeria. According to him, the society has effectively placed the country in leadership position in biotechnology in Africa.