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OFAB inaugurates Biotechnology Youth Vanguard, urges them to embrace agriculture in Imo

By Joe Nwachukwu

Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Nigeria under the auspices of National Biotechnology Research Development Agency (NBRDA) has inaugurated its Biotechnology Youth Vanguard for Imo State for the purpose of empowering the youth to become  part of biotechnology and agents of change in their  respective communities.

The one day workshop with the Theme: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Agricultural Innovators: Inaugural Workshop for the Agricultural Biotechnology Youth Vanguard which was held in Owerri on Thursday was targeted at early careers and youth farmers in Imo State.

In his  address, the Director General, CEO National Biotechnology Research and Development Agency (NBRDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, recalled that the world is facing complex challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and healthcare disparities.

According to him, the role of biotechnology in addressing these issues which cannot be overstated while stressing the imperative of equipping  the youth with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to leverage biotechnology for sustainable development and societal progress.

“Through this conference, we aim to provide the Youth Vanguard with a platform for learning, collaboration, and advocacy. Over the course of the next few years, you will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the field, participate in hands-on activities, and develop action plans for driving biotechnology initiatives in your respective regions,” he said

He encourage the youths to use this opportunity to expand there horizons, to challenge themselves, and to envision the role they can play in shaping the future of biotechnology in Nigeria and beyond.

“Your energy, creativity, and passion are the driving forces behind the advancement of biotechnology, and I have no doubt that you will rise to the occasion with enthusiasm and determination,” he said.

He urged the youth to remain steadfast in their commitment to promote the responsible and ethical use of biotechnology for the greater good while urging them to harness the power of science and innovation to build a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State in his a speech delievered by Prof  Jude Ezeako, the Director General Imo State Investment Promotion Agency (ISIPA), described the occasion as a significant step to harness the transformative power of biotechnology for the benefit of Imo state and the nation.

He said: “I am deeply honored to be invited as the special guest of honor for this auspicious event, which underscores the importance of investing in our youth and empowering them to become agents of change in the field of biotechnology.”

The governor while commending the organizers for their vision and foresight in establishing the Biotechnology Youth Vanguard, which will serve as a platform for nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and driving progress in this critical field, the Governor stressed that biotechnology holds immense promise for addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing our society, from ensuring food security and sustainable agriculture to combating diseases and improving healthcare outcomes

Governor Uzodimma said by engaging the youth in the exploration and application of biotechnological solutions, the body is not only preparing them for the jobs of the future but also positioning Imo State as a hub of innovation and excellence in biotechnology

“I am particularly heartened by the enthusiasm and dedication of the young people who have chosen to be part of the Biotechnology Youth Vanguard,” he said.