The Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) has appealed to the government and all stakeholders to adopt biotechnology in livestock and fodder production to end farmers/herdsmen clashes in the country.
Dr Rose Gidado, the Country Representative of OFAB, made the appeal at the 41st Conference and Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Gidado said that the adoption of biotechnology would facilitate the cultivation of hydroponic fodder to provide enough grasses for herdsmen to feed their cattle and reduce the movement of the animals in search of fodder.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hydroponic fodder system involves the cultivation of fodder under controlled temperature and humidity conditions, while it is specifically designed to sprout grains that are very nutritious.
It is young tender grass grown from a cereal grain, mostly barley. Hydroponic fodder is considered to be the best livestock feed, as it waste-free, sustainable and cost effective.
Gidado said that biotechnology would also help to boost the quality and quantity of milk by the animals.
The OFAB country representative, who noted that Brazil had perfected the use of biotechnology for crop production, urged Nigeria to adopt the technology as it was not harmful to human health and the environment.
“Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the most intensively researched technology worldwide. GMOs help to enhance taste and shelf life of fruits in particular.
“We want a food secure Africa where agriculture biotechnology is making significant contributions.
“Crop biotechnology will solve the food crisis in Africa, including Nigeria. The technology has its set advantages and disadvantages; we must, therefore, use it with great caution,’’ she said.
Gidado appealed to the Federal Government to equip the regulatory institutions saddled with the responsibility of controlling biotechnology adequately so as to avoid the abuse of the technology.
NAN reports that the three-day conference has “Rejuvenating the Nigerian Economy through Promotion of the Food Value Chain’’ as its theme.