The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Nigeria (OFAB) has assured Nigerians that by the 2022 farming season, the prices of food crops, especially beans, will crash.
Speaking during the OFAB Day celebration in Abuja, OFAB Nigeria Country Coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, said in July, 32 farmers were given the seedlings of the newly commercialized BT Cowpea in the FCT and 36 states of the federation.
She said the OFAB was already working with partners to license more seed companies in order to ensure massive production for farmers next farming season.
While blaming the high cost of beans on the scarcity of seedlings and low harvest, she assured that farmers would experience a bumper harvest for cowpea next year.
She said, “I know there is hunger in the land.
“We are just starting commercialization of our genetically modified beans.
“This is just the beginning because this is the first year. It will be too early to judge and scarcity as you know brings about a hike in prices.
“By next year we are going to have more seeds in the market and if there is availability, of course, prices will go down.
“But for this year, the seeds were sold for 1000 per kg. I think that is fair enough, because of the resources that we put in, but we need more resources to do more.
“Farmers are assured of high yield next year; the feelers we are getting from farmers is so good.
“FCT farmers are giving testimonies that the seeds are germinating like wide fire and they are producing.”
Head of Planning, Research and Statistics, Agricultural Science Council of Nigeria, (ARCN), Dr Aliyu Madugu, said OFAB had succeeded in sensitizing Nigerians to understand what biotechnology does.
He said by using biotechnology, it had brought in improved varieties that yielded a better resistance to diseases and pests.
Madugu said with the ongoing synergy between ARCN and its partners, the outcome will surely lead to a crash in the price of foodstuff in the coming years, though, it may not come immediately.