The National Biotechnology Development Agency, NABDA, wants stakeholders in the science sector and Nigerians to be advocates of Science, Technology, and Innovation to ensure the progress and socioeconomic growth of the country.
The Director General of NABDA, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha who stated this in Abuja at the presentation of the agency’s activities with the theme “Actualization of Economic Diversification Strategy through modern Biotechnology”.
He said its innovations in Agriculture, Medicines, Environment, and Industry was impacting on national growth.
Professor Mustapha explained that the innovations from the agency which include the Maruca Resistant Cowpea, BT Cotton, TELA Maize ,bio digester among others were healthy and environmentally friendly.
Professor Mustapha affirmed that the Global market index report by Polaris indicated that the biotechnology market had grown from $753.48 billion in 2020 to an estimated rate of $1,000.46 billion in 2021 with private organizations in most developed countries, taking the lead.
He noted that the rise would continue and African and Nigeria, in particular, must take opportunities inherent in biotechnology and invest.
“We have to start thinking of investing in biotechnology, so we can make it right from now” he maintained.
Professor Mustapha announced that the agency was set to release a new variety of maize as farmers were already looking forward to it, as it would guarantee high yield and also for off season farming.
“The farmers are anxiously waiting for the release. This specie of maize has high productivity, high tolerance and insect resistance said Professor Mustapha.
He stressed the need for diversification of the economy and called for public and private sectors to collaborate with NABDA through funding of its research outputs.
“Diversification is necessary, if you diversify, you have many revenue sources that can bring you gains when one is not available. Without science and engineering, nothing will move, he said.”
The Director General was optimistic that the move by NABDA would help create jobs and bring about economic growth.
Reporting by Rabi Momoh; Editing by Chinasa Ossai & Julian Osamoto & Adeniyi Bakare