Director-General (D-G), National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has said that biotechnology is taking mankind beyond known depths of understanding chemical and physical basis of life and matter to molecular basis of creation.
Mustapha made the disclosure in an interview on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 in Abuja.
Biotechnology is the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics and hormones, among others.
According to the D-G, over the time, there has been a continuous change in technology, which necessitates changes in investment climate and opportunities.
“Now we have a new wave called biotechnology, which combines biological potential with physical and chemical possibilities with a deep root in life and computer science.
“The concept of biotechnology evolved with technology advances and technology uses biological processes to make useful products.
“It is from the process of technology that we get products which translate into economic outcome,’’ he said.
Accordingly, he advised that the deployment of biotechnology tools would enable plant breeders to become climate smart and resilient.
He stressed that such deployment would also enable staple crops such as rice, corn, cassava and other crops to express vital micronutrients necessary to boost the immune system, while also reducing cost.
The NABDA boss said that biotechnology allowed improvement of dietary supplement with multivitamins, bioactive lipids, flavonoids and herbs as a tool to support the human immune system against COVID-19 and other diseases.
“Such nutrient dense foods are often not accessible by the poor and rural inhabitants due to cost and other reasons.
“The Federal Government is intensifying efforts to deploy biotechnology tools into the agricultural sector that would lead to mass production of functional foods at very cheap and affordable cost,’’ he said.
By Sylvester Thompson