The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has endorsed the use of science and technology in food production.

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The Minister gave this endorsement, when he received the Deputy Director-General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Kwaku Aning, in his ministry on Thursday, 3rd July, 2014.

Appreciating the IAEA for its assistance provided through technical input, fellowships, expert missions, training workshops, financial sponsorship and technical co-operation projects in Nigeria in the food and agriculture sector, Dr. Adesina  said Nigeria would like to collaborate with IAEA in the use of gamma irradiation for food preservation and control. The Minister explained that gamma irradiaton will allow Nigeria to produce and preserve her food production, and capture a reasonable size of the world market.

The Minister explained that the use of irradiation technology will help in mutation breeding, saying that the application of nuclear techniques in characterization of food contaminants and pollutant would assure food safety.

Dr.Adesina stated that Nigeria as a country is facing so many challenges, but promised to use all available tools to solve food problems in Nigeria. According to the Minister “Time has come to separate noise-makers from scientists”.

The Minister said that Nigeria will continue to align its international developmental objectives with the IAEA’s plan of development by effectively harnessing the benefits offered by proper and peaceful application of nuclear science and technology through IAEA’s technical co-operation programme.

Dr.Adesina, explained that according to the specification in Nigeria’s update Country Programme Framework (CPF) with the IAEA for the period between 2012-2017, signed in February 14, 2013,  the major priority area for technical co-operation relates to transfer and application of nuclear technology in food and agriculture.

He assured of the readiness of government to invest heavily in science and technology and equally pledged his ministry’s readiness to work collaboratively with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Nigeria’s Bio-Technology Agency, to educate Nigerians on the use of science and technology.

Earlier in his remarks,IAEA,s  Deputy Director-General, stated that his visit was to know the areas of focus for partnership with the ministry, adding that IAEA’s mission was to  speed up motion, saying  their technology in agriculture is very large.

Mr. Aning, said IAEA offers assistance in Research and Development in irradiation technology and other related fields such as; Capacity Building, Manpower Development and Training in Irradiation Technology, Demonstration of radiation on food processing, including Agricultural and Industrial products for commercial purpose.

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