Dr Rose Gidado, Country Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology(OFAB), says Nigeria must adopt modern technologies in agriculture to overcome challenges of food security occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gidado, also Deputy Director, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.
She said that Nigeria must also adopt smart farm practices such as application of Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), satellite imagery, artificial technology to actualise its vast potential in agriculture.
According to her, this would help to facilitate the redistribution of foods by simplifying the communication between suppliers and consumers.
The scientist said that considering the necessity of curbing the spread of COVID-19, the government should introduce automated machines for the planting of seeds.
She said that the country must also make use of Value Stream Mapping, in order to ensure proper management of the supply chain from farm to fork.
Gidado said that farmers must adopt the use Genetically Modified (GM) seeds to reduce the need for routine farm practices while ensuring higher yields, calling also for the use of Nano nutrients to boost crop production.
The Expert further said Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and agricultural drones, which have been proven in practice to reduce human contact in agriculture, should be deployed.
Gidado was optimistic that both technologies were necessary for curbing the spread of COVID-19 and could also be a good way of tackling the threat of food insecurity.
She said that in the nearest future, biotechnology shall revolutionise the way people think.
“Technological advances have dramatically triggered the rate at which plant transformation can be achieved to meet our specific needs at every phase of life,’’ she said.