The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, has said the use of biofortification in plant breeding can fight the scourge of malnutrition and increase the incomes of smallholder farmers.
Mustapha said this at the hybrid conference of the Plant Breeders Association of Nigeria (PBAN) hosted in collaboration with Joseph Sarwaun Tarka University (the former university of agriculture) in Makurdi.
He noted that using biofortification varieties alternately in existing intercropping systems with maize, yams, and legumes can boost dietary needs and diversification in the country.
The director general further stated that micronutrient deficiencies mainly due to lack of vitamin A, zinc and iron cause much of the malnutrition epidemic as staple crop dependence provides insufficient essential nutrients.
“Using biofortified varieties alternately in existing intercropping systems with maize, yams, and legumes can boost dietary,” Mustapha said.
Professor Terkimbi Vange, the President of the Plant Breeders Association of Nigeria (PBAN), expressed delight at the success of the inaugural conference.