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VC SAYS OAU IS COMMITTED TO TACKLING FOOD INSECURITY, POVERTY
VC SAYS OAU IS COMMITTED TO TACKLING FOOD INSECURITY, POVERTY

The Vice- Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has said the University is committed to eradicating hunger, food insecurity and poverty in Nigeria through its leading role in agricultural research and application of modern biotechnology in agriculture.

Professor Ogunbodede was speaking at a workshop organized by the Southwest Agro Ecological Biosafety workshop in conjunction with the Ife Biotechnological Group with the theme: Addressing Challenges of Biosafety Management and GMO Issues, which was hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture at the Ajose lecture Theatre.

The VC in his address, told the workshop that in view of the diversification of Nigeria’s economy towards agriculture, biotechnology and other modern tools of boosting agricultural productivity cannot be jettisoned in the nation’s bid to eradicate poverty and food insecurity.

According to him: “with the federal government diversifying the economy to reposition agriculture as the mainstay of our economy, we cannot afford to discriminate among the technologies that have been proven and widely tested, hence our conventional agriculture practices must give way to such as biotechnology.”
He therefore asserted that OAU, as a leading University in Africa, is ready to tackle food insecurity and poverty headlong, through its excellent track record in agricultural research, just as he called on stakeholders in the agricultural sector to collaborate in order for Nigeria to put an end to poverty.
He said: “OAU is a prominent in agricultural research with landmark achievement in crop and animal breeding and production. Our Teaching and Research farm should be a National Centre for confined and open trials of approved Genetically Modified (GM) crops by the federal government.”

“And to achieve this, there is need to sensitize, mobilize and create awareness among stakeholders of biotechnology in this University”, he added.

Other speakers at the workshop including Professor Anthony Elujoba, the immediate Acting Vice-chancellor and Professor Solomon, the Chairman, Ife Biotechnology Group (IBG), also stressed the importance of biotechnology for the eradication of poverty in Nigeria.