Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has commended AATF and IAR for the successful release and launching of the PBR Cowpea as a variety in Nigeria.
Prof. Mustapha said that the successful launch of the PBR Cowpea has put Nigeria in the global league of countries that apply science and technology as solutions to their challenges, especially in the agricultural sector.
In an address presented at the launch of the PBR Cowpea to farmers, Prof. Mustapha noted that Nigeria was losing millions of Naira to the purchase of chemicals that farmers use to keep insects and pests away from their crops. These chemicals which most times are substandard and adulterated have been responsible for the increased mortality of our aging farmers.
He assured that with PBR Cowpea, farmers will now save money that was hitherto used for purchase of chemicals as the variety require farmers to spray twice as against 8 times for conventional varieties.
Farmers in the country are faced with many challenges ranging from low productivity, low yield, increasing cases of insect and pest infestation, soil infertility and the almighty climate change. As a country the wholistic deployment of biotechnology as one of the most potent options to turn these challenges into opportunity for Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized.
Biotechnology has shown as we have seen in other countries as a tool that can enhance productivity, reduce drudgery, and increase yield. Therefore, the federal government in its wisdom established the National Biotechnology Development Agency in the year 2001 to promote, coordinate and set research and development priority in biotechnology for Nigeria.