Under the visionary leadership of the director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, the agency has been at the forefront of boosting food security in Nigeria. Through innovative approaches and cutting-edge biotechnology solutions, NABDA is spearheading efforts to enhance agricultural productivity, improve crop yields and ensure food self-sufficiency for the nation.
As Africa’s foremost biotechnology development agency, NABDA conducts focused research and development in priority areas like agriculture, health, industry, and the environment. It formulates programs and policies for biotechnology utilisation, research and development in Nigeria.
NABDA’s commitment to harnessing biotechnology for sustainable national development is yielding significant results, particularly at the grassroots level, where there is a growing appreciation for biotechnology’s capabilities to enhance food security and improve livelihoods. The agency has become a driving force in utilsing biotechnology to enhance the quality of life for Nigerians and mitigate socioeconomic obstacles to development.
Following President Bola Tinubu’s recent declaration of a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria, the director-general of NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to boosting food security in Nigeria through agricultural biotechnology.
“As an agency, we are fully aligned with President Bola Tinubu’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security. By harnessing the potential of biotechnology, NABDA is determined to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria and ensure a sustainable and secure food supply. We are already collaborating with stakeholders, farmers and researchers to tackle these challenges head-on,” Mustapha stated.
NABDA, in collaboration with national and international partners, is already driving Nigeria’s economic growth with the commercialisation of two genetically modified crops, Bt Cotton and Bt Cowpea. Nigeria’s transgenic cowpea, the world’s first genetically modified pod-borer resistant (PBR) cowpea, is revolutionising the nation’s food production. Farmers who have planted and harvested the improved variety of Bt cowpea report improved yields, reduced pests, cost efficiency from near-zero use of pesticides, and enhanced livelihood.
Additionally, NABDA has revolutionised yam seedlings production, achieving its target of producing and distributing over two million yam seedlings to farmers. The agency actively promotes the adoption of modern biotechnology practices among farmers through capacity-building programmes, workshops, and training sessions. These initiatives empower farmers with the knowledge and skills to effectively utilise biotechnology tools and techniques, resulting in increased crop yields and improved livelihoods.
NABDA’s efforts extend to improving livestock breeding and management through biotechnology. By leveraging biotechnology, the agency has facilitated the production of healthier and more productive livestock, leading to increased meat and dairy production in Nigeria. Furthermore, NABDA aims to reduce food waste through improved food processing, packaging and preservation techniques using biotechnology.
The agency’s ongoing biotechnology research and development, strategic collaborations, and capacity-building programmes will continue to play a pivotal role in boosting food security, promoting sustainable farming practices, and fostering economic growth in Nigeria. These efforts underline NABDA’s commitment to Tinubu’s vision to address food insecurity in the country.
Mustapha has positioned NABDA as a leading institution in biotechnology research and development, not just in Nigeria but also across Africa. His efforts have garnered international recognition and solidified Nigeria’s position as a key player in the global biotechnology landscape.
As Nigeria navigates the challenges of sustainable development, Mustapha’s visionary approach to biotechnology will serve as a catalyst for growth, progress and national prosperity.
Omozuwa is the press secretary to the director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency. She can be reached via email@example.com.