The Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu flagged off on Monday the launch of transgenic cotton seed at a well- attended world press briefing in Abuja.
Dr. Onu said the introduction of new cotton seeds will boost the economy by giving birth to more Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’S) in the production of cotton seedlings and its by-products.
The new cotton seedlings will also result in higher yields and better pest-resistant varieties, Dr. Onu added.
Dr. Onu bemoaned the steady decline in the textile industry in the country over the years and said the Federal Government was determined to achieve a higher cotton yield to feed the nation’s textile mills.
The Federal Government, he added, would apply Science and Technology to process and apply the yields of cotton to the products needed by Nigerians so as to help fight extreme poverty and increase the earning of the country.
“We want all our research institutions to work together to achieve our common goal to deliver special services to our people”. Dr. Onu added and that the ministry would support any further research to ensure food security in Nigeria.
Speaking at the occasion the Minister of Agriculture, Chief. Audu Ogbeh, said for Nigeria to make the needed progress among the comity of nations there should be a synergy among Research Institutes, the Industry and Universities.
Chief Ogbeh commended scientists involved in the new endeavour and praised them for developing pest-resistant hybrid cotton from local seeds.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, MR. Bako Nabasu said that Nigeria has reached the stage for sufficiency in the textile industry and had set the stage for global pride in the textile and garment industry.
He further revealed the hybrid seed as being high yielding and tolerant and that the government will ensure that the cotton are made available and affordable to farmers.
HEAD PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
19TH NOVEMBER 2018.