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It is not doubt that for sustainable food security, there is a need to build collaboration between alpha research institutes and varsities, recognizing this, the federal government has indicated interest in strengthening collaboration between Universities in the country and research institutes.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made this known when he received the senior associate director of international programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP CALS), Dr Sarah Davidson Evanega, in his office in Abuja.

Dr Evanega, who is also the director, Cornell University’s Alliance for Science (CALs), said the organization is a global communication initiative with a mission to promote global food security, improve environmental sustainability and raise the quality of life globally. “Since its inception in 2014, the Alliance for Science has worked in close collaboration with National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Open Forum for Agricultural Biology in Africa to ensure access to biotechnology innovations in order to enable scientists have access to the tools of biotechnology in order to innovate to meet the great challenges of today.”

Furthermore, the director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Mr Oguntunde Abayomi, who was represented by the OFAB Nigeria Chapter coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, appreciated the organization goal of promoting global food security, improving environmental sustainability and raising the quality of life globally. He also noted that CALs have been involved in the training of NABDA staff as fellows of agricultural biotechnology communication during the hosting of the 2015 Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa. In his words, “The sister organizations, NABDA, OFAB and Cornell University Alliance for Science share a passion for ensuring access to biotechnology innovations in order to achieve the shared mission.  They share a dedication to ensuring that scientists continue to have access to the tools of biotechnology in order to innovate to meet the great challenges today. This is so critical for Nigeria as she is left with no option than to diversify the economy because of dwindling oil prices. And for Nigeria to diversify, we must make agriculture a business. And for agriculture to be made a business, appropriate technologies like the agric biotechnology must be deployed,” he said.