The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, says the commercialisation of Bt cotton in Nigeria in 2018 raises hope for revival of the textile industry .
Professor Mustapha noted that Bt cotton is a revolution that will help Nigeria in its cotton shortage.
He stated this during a one-day stakeholders’ training with the theme, “Grass Root Engagement for Sustainable, Commercialization of Bt. Cotton”
Represented by the Agency’s Director, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr. Nasir Ibrahim, Mustapha said NABDA will not relent in its efforts to continually train farmers and other stakeholders on the adoption of cutting-edge technology such as enhanced genetically modified seeds to boost productivity.
The Director-General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, who described Nigerian farmers who are opportune to have access to the Bt Cotton, noted that the crop would improve productivity, increase yield as well as reduce use of pesticides which invariably reduces Green House Gas (GHG) emission which depletes the environment.
The Counselor of Agricultural Affairs, US Mission Nigeria, Mr. Gerald Smith, observed that population growth, climate variabilities, and limited farmland mean that farmers in Nigeria and across the developing world need yield advantages.
The Country Coordinator, OFAB, Nigeria chapter, Dr. Rose Gidado, said the aim of the training was to bring the key cotton stakeholders, including farmers together to engage them on one-on-one interviews with “early adopters” and farmer community leaders.
Reporting by Rabi Momoh; Editing by Omotola Oguneye