Prof. Eucharia Kenya is an expert in biotechnology and Science Communication, and has identified that a good application of modern biotechnology will yield substantial agricultural progress for Nigeria and Africa.
Prof. Kenya spoke in Abuja on Saturday saying that the technology would boost agricultural productivity by assisting in the development of new crops and in combating insects that destroy plants and animals.
“Biotechnology guarantees food security and allows us to develop new crops, new types of animals as well as prevent infectious insects in our environment. Most of our crops cannot survive due to some insects which are depending on these crops as their own food; with the application of this technology, crops and other organisms will survive. Due to the African environment, insects have overpowered crops and animals, but with the new technology, our environment, crops and other organisms are saved.”
Prof Kenya also spoke about the safety of the new technology, saying that adequate measures have been developed to ensure the safety of its application.
“This is a new technology that our people don’t fully understand; some of the potential risks are not clear and therefore, we insist that the system must go through regulation and safety test before application.”
Prof. Diran Makende, a director in NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), also affirms that Africa and Nigeria in particular, need the new technology to ensure food and environmental security.
“When you look at the population of Nigeria, if we can embrace the innovation, we can be assured of food security.We need this tool to actually make our food secure,” he said.
Currently, an emerging network, the ‘African Biosafety Network of Expertise’, is evolving rapidly based on a document commissioned by the African Union called “Freedom to Innovate.” This book provides a framework to advance biotechnology in both agriculture and health care and advocates for the African “voice.”