A biotechnology expert, Mrs Eniyekpemi Ebimoboere, has said that development of environment-friendly hybrid seeds will boost production of local vegetables and food security in the country.
Ebimoboere, the CEO of Afritropic Farming and Agric Services, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 in Lagos.
She said the availability and development of the hybrid seeds would help tackle malnutrition and health challenges among Nigerians.
“The development of hybrid seeds plays a major role in boosting food security in the country.
“Hybrid seeds also help in the fight against malnutrition because it is very important to have vegetables to support our highly carbohydrate-based diet.
“This is possible when individuals purchase these hybrid seeds and cultivate these vegetables around their homes.
“With this hybrid seed technology Nigerians can eat healthy with the availability and accessibility of highly nutritious vegetables. We can tackle food insecurity across the country,” she said.
She harped on the necessity of developing the seeds and how compliant they were to the soil in any environmental location.
“Most conventional vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions may not thrive in the South-West or South-South as much as they will in the northern region of the country.
“That is why we have worked on these hybrid vegetal seeds to improve seeds so that they can stand the environmental and climate conditions in all parts of the country.
“They are hybrid seeds and not Genetically Modified seeds (GMOs), they are conventionally processed. These seeds are bred to suit the environment,’’ she said.
She added that they had low health risks, more qualitative, affordable and nutritious among other advantages.
“We develop these hybrid seeds to ensure the presence of nutritious vegetable in local meals across the country.
“We like seeing quality produce and that is why we organise trainings and seminars on the benefits of these hybrid seeds.
“Hybrid seeds have varieties and the number one benefit is that their yield is far higher than what the conventional seeds would produce.
“Hybrid seeds also have shorter duration in crop production than regular seeds.
“For example, our hybrid cucumber seedlings when planted can be harvested within forty-five days, it is healthy, and the yields are high in quality,” she said.
By Mercy Omoike