Stakeholders have emphasised the importance of genetic and agricultural transformation (GAT) in ensuring food security in Nigeria.
This was the key message of the 45th annual conference of the Genetics Society of Nigeria (GSN) held in Abeokuta, Ogun, themed “Genetics and Agricultural Transformation: Pathway to Food Security”.
During the conference, which drew participants from various sectors, including academia, non-governmental organisations, governmental organizations, industries, students and research institutes, four lead papers were presented on topics such as animal breeds in agricultural transformation, plant genetics and breeding and genetics in fisheries and aquaculture.
At the end of the meeting, participants released a communique that called for enhancing research capacity in animal science by establishing more functional research institutes, strengthening the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) and improving collaboration and synergy between human geneticists and medical personnel.
Also, they urged the government to implement international agreements related to genetic resources for food and agriculture, allocate more research funds to researchers, and increase the stock of dams in the country.
Furthermore, stakeholders pointed out the lack of accurate genetic databases for decision-making and planning and the need for research on the pharmaceutical potential of wild medicinal plants. They also expressed concerns about the government’s insincerity in implementing recommendations from researchers.
Overall, the conference emphasised the importance of GAT in achieving food security and the need for collaborative efforts to ensure its implementation.