Crop Biotech Update

Obasanjo Calls For Investments in Agricultural Research

July 13, 2012

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Nigerian government and African nations to invest in international agricultural research. The former Head of State who is the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture's (IITA) Ambassador for Africa spoke during the IITA's 45thanniversary on 6 July in Ibadan, Nigeria.

"In 1979, IITA helped save my farm and that of other farmers which were heavily infested by the cassava mealy bug pandemic. At that time, IITA gave us cassava mealy bug -resistant varieties," he said.Chief Obasanjo further lamented that food insecurity and poverty remained top on the agenda of African governments but not many have been able to meet the Maputo declaration of allocating 10 percent of budgets to agriculture. "The point is that the tools used 45 years ago are likely to be obsolete, this calls for an urgent need to rejuvenate," He said.

For more news on crop biotech in Africa, email Jonathan Odhong of the ISAAA AfriCenter at jodhong@cgiar.org.