REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE NORTH-EAST ZONAL HOSTING OPEN FORUM ON AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY (OAF) TAKING PLACE IN GOMBE STATE ON 28 FEBUARY, 2013.

codinstrumentBiotechnology

Oct 23, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

74 views

REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY AT THE NORTH
-
EAST ZONAL HOSTING OPEN
FORUM ON AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY (OAF) TAKING
PLACE IN GOMBE STATE ON 28
TH

FEBUARY, 2013.


PROTOCOL

I am indeed delighted to welcome you to the No
rth
-

East Zonal Open
Forum on A
gricultural

Biotechnology (
OFAB
)

holding in Gombe, G
ombe
State. This Forum with the Theme;
“Biotechnology for Food Security
and Poverty Alleviation: The Livestock Perspective”

is timely. It

is my
hope that through the in
t
e
raction

and presentations at this forum, the
development of Agricultural Biotechnology in the country will be
appreciated and strengthened.

Distinguished

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is important to note that one of
the greatest challenges facing the world today is c
limate change which
causes
reduction

in yields from rain
-
fed
agriculture

thereby severely
compromising agricultural production and food security. However,
there
is

a compel
ling urgent need to feed the ever growing population,
protect the environment and b
iodiversity, as well as maintain and
promote the economic well
-
being of the citizenry and the importance
of agricultural biotechnology cannot be overemphasized. It is pertinent
to state that agricultural biotechnology encompasses a variety of
processes
whi
ch

include cell, tissue and embryo culture; clonal
propagation of disease
-
free plants; better adaptation to environmental
stresses, greater nutritive value and
reduced

postharvest losses; and
genetically engineered male sterility to facilitate hybrid seed
production, etc. Biotechnology thus has the capacity to provide
innovative products that are developed to improve food
security

reduce

poverty, create wealth
and

jobs.

The benefits of biotechnologies in livestock are
numerous

and include
enhanced nutrition
al content
of

food for human consumption; a more
abundant, cheaper and varied food supply; agricultural land
-
use
savings; development of new

i
nexpensive remedies for animal and
human as well as ensure
environmental

sustainability thereby helping
to alleviate poverty and hunger. Recent breakthroughs in biotechnology
have led to rapid progress and increased use of biotechnology for
genetic mapping and marker
-
assisted selection to aid more precise and
rapid development

of new strains of improved livestock and
new
diagnostics

and vaccines are being adopted for the diagnosis,
prevention and control of diseases.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as biotechnology has become widely used,
questions and concerns have also been raised rela
ted to safety and
adverse impact. However,
numerous

evidence
-
based studies conducted
in last decade indicated that biotechnology
-
derived products have
proven to be economically viable, environmentally sustainable are
virtually in every industry and develop
ments are underway in areas as
diverse as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, textiles, aquaculture, forestry,
chemicals
,

household

products, environmental clean
-
up
, food
processing and forensics to name a few. Biotechnology therefore holds
significant promise t
o the future but must continue to be properly
regulated so that the maximum benefits are obtained with least risks.
This then demonstrates the criticality and significance of an operational
Biosafety Law in Nigeria.

Finally, it is my hope that all relevant

stakeholders present at this
Forum will continue to work together by supporting this emerging
technology that will prove vital to our economic development.

I wish you a faithful deliberation.

Thank you for listening.


PROF. ITA OKON BASSEY EWA

HONORABLE

MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

28
TH

FEBRUARY, 2013