The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono has urged Nigerian farmers to leverage on use of modern agricultural biotechnology and adopt the practice, in order to fast-track the development of the agricultural sector.
Nanono gave the charge at the 2019 Seed Fair, organized by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) in Abuja.
Citing the essence of the innovation, he stressed that the use of modern biotechnology to plant breeding is more efficient and faster than conventional breeding techniques in the development of new and more resilient crop varieties.
Nanono also revealed that BT Cotton has officially been released in Nigeria and BT Cowpea is still undergoing its final stages of release and registration by the National Varietal Release Committee.
While noting that the research institutes have a key role to play in extending biotechnology to farmers, the minister urged the institutes to develop crops that can survive without the use of chemicals.
He said, “We need to rationalize 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.”