NIGERIA – The Agriculture Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on farmers to embrace the use of biotechnology and mechanization as well other innovations in the agricultural sector to boost food production in the country.

Kabir Ibrahim, AFAN president stated this during a press conference in Abuja, ahead of the forthcoming ‘National Agricultural Show’.

According to Ibrahim, there is a need for Nigerian farmers to shore up food production to meet the demand of the nation’s rising population which is estimated by the United Nations to reach as high as 377 million by 2050.

“Securing food sufficiency in Nigeria hinges on embracing biotechnology, mechanization, and scientific innovations,” Ibrahim asserted, dispelling misconceptions surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their alleged associations with diseases.

He underscored the transformative potential of GMOs in eradicating poverty, citing the staggering yield increase—up to 18 tons from a hectare previously yielding only 1 ton—when leveraging biotechnology.

“Embracing biotechnology will catalyze substantial improvements in production,” Ibrahim stated, affirming agriculture as a private sector that necessitates a conducive government environment to flourish.

Nigeria is currently facing a devastating food security crisis. FAO outlines that an estimated 17 million people faced food insecurity in 2022 and 25 million were likely to experience this dire situation in mid-2023.

Intertwining factors are responsible for this crisis, including violent conflicts, rising inflation, escalating poverty, and mounting unemployment rates. These challenges have been exacerbated by rising floods, worsened by climate change-related impacts.

With global agriculture biotech valued at USD 93.1 billion in 2021 and projected to surge to USD 214.6 billion by 2031, growing at an 8.8% CAGR from 2022 to 2031, agricultural biotechnology, thus, remains pivotal.

According to Allied Market Research, biotechnology also makes it easier to spread favorable features throughout plants and animals.

“The agriculture biotech market is anticipated to grow because of the rapid adoption of biotechnology in transgenic crops,” outlines the report.

The report further reveals that crop genetic engineering aids plant breeders in enhancing plants and reducing significant problems with modern agriculture.

“These transgenic plants have outstanding resistance to pesticides, diseases, and insects,” reveals the report.

Key market players in this agricultural biotech sphere include KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA, ChemChina, Bayer AG, Corteva, Nufarm, Limagrain, MITSUI & CO., LTD, Evogene Ltd., Valent BioSciences LLC., and Marrone Bio Innovations.

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