The Director-General of the National Biotechnelogy Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Alex Akpa has revealed that Nigeria is willing to transfer its biotechnology in several fields to other African countries.
Speaking during a courtesy call from the Commonwealth Students and Youth Federation for Peace, Professor Akpa saif that Nigeria is happy to share knowledge about its bt(biotech) cowpea, bt cotton and a host of others to help other nations in Afric boost productivity in agricultural endeavours.
The DG stressed the importance of Nigeria sharing their technological advances with other African nations and assured that the country will be happy to do that.
He also enthused that the variant of cotton developed in Nigeria utilising the biotechnology yields about 4.2 to 4.5 tonnes per hectare.
“In fact somebody who is a very enlightened farmer got 5 tonnes per hectare and reported that during the last field day in the agency; so you can imagine the dramatic increase. The traditional variety gives you between 250 to 750 kilogram per hectare, that is less than one ton per hectare, so you can see the type of thing science can do,’’
He also intimated the visiting students/youths that the agency has developed “bt cowpea”. Stressing that Nigeria the premier county on earth, to grow bt cowpea.
Further noting that although cowpeas are naturally very prone to insect attacks, the bt cowpeas were not vulnerable to insect attacks.
Prof. Akpa went on to note that people that a number of people try to preserve their cowpeas with harmful insecticides such as Sniper.
And while he maintains that Sniper is an effective insecticide, he informed that the after-effect of the insecticide is highly dangerous as Sniper is potent enough to kill people.
He said NABDA on the other hand preserve their cowpeas with bio-insecticides that were “totally harmless to the environment and completely harmless to humans because they are normal micro organisms.’’
The agency boss further informed the visitors about what NABDA has done with yam seedlings and also spoke about the plan of the agency for this year.