Effort to boost foods sufficiency across the six area councils of the FCT, has been stressed, as this would ensure the technological means of protecting crops from extinction.
This technological idea came from Biocrops Biotechnology Nigeria Limited (Biocrops), a private crop science initiative in Abuja, while explaining that it is working in the six area councils of the FCT to mass multiply yams through the use of technology.
Daily Times made this discovery while visiting Biocrops yard in Jabi area of Abuja various seed multiplication sites were observed.
Speaking with Adaora Ekwegbara, one of the managers in Biocrops, she confirmed to our correspondent that they were on ground in all the six area councils in demonstration farms to mass multiply yam stems and seedlings.
She said that Biocrops wants to make improved seeds available to farmers using technology “we do not alter the plant, but only multiply to large quantity in a short period”.
She said they also produce bio fertilizer and bio insecticides in the complex as she assured they do not use chemical fertilizers.
Also speaking, Jonathan Robson, Programme Director said there was the need to encourage Agric lecturers to come to the facility for upgrade and update their knowledge.
He said so far, there have trained over 3,000 interns on seed multiplication. “This is geared at increasing farmers’ income which can be up to 30%, we can improve the confidence of local farmers to earn more income which government and in turn get better tax”.
He urged governments at all levels to support the technology to make a difference.
In a related development, the Alfalfa plant that is being developed in the facility, according to Robson is far richer, when turned to hay for livestock than the grass cattle eat across the fields.
The Alfalfa is resilient and can survive for years and grows back rapidly after harvest. He said cows, horses, goats and other ruminants will get better quality meat and milk when they are fed on Alfalfa.
He, however, made it clear that Biocrops, “we do not practice any form of Genetic Modification (GM) on any of the seeds or seedlings we produce.
Biocrops uses established bio-technology practices such as Temporary Immersion Bio-reactors (TIB), Tissue Culture (TC) and Aeroponic systems to mass multiply “farmer identified” best of breed crops under ideal plant conditions.