AATF, NABDA Discuss Partnership to Improve Food Security in Nigeria

By Joyce Ojanji

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Nigeria are set to collaborate on research and development activities capable of reducing post-harvest crop losses and enhancing nutrition security among Nigerians.

The possible areas of collaboration identified by the two organizations include training and capacity enhancement of researchers and joint research collaboration on vegetables, pearl millet and others.

Leading a team of researchers from the Agency on a courtesy visit to the West African Office of the AATF, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General of NABDA noted that with the expanded mandate of NABDA to embark on research activities, AATF is the best place to launch the partnership drive to begin research on how to improve the shelf life of our vegetable crops and save the country and our farmers from the huge wastage suffered annually.

He said that AATF has the experience and network that had proven over the years to be dependable and capable of assisting NABDA and other research organisations on the continent to proffer solutions to food and nutrition challenges.

“For nearly two decades, NABDA has championed the promotion of biotechnological tools that offer solutions to crop improvement challenges. With our Act now in place, we are venturing into research to develop proof of concept to show that the technologies we are promoting are safe and have the potential to address our food problems,” he added.

Dr. Jean Baptiste, AATF’s Regional Representative for West Africa said that the collaboration sought by NABDA was timely and mutually beneficial as the whole country would benefit from such relationship.

He commended NABDA for the advocacy, outreach and communication efforts in promoting biotechnology and its products in the country, highlighting that the agency played a critical role in popularizing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.

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