University Don Proffers Solution To Sustainable Food Security - EDU-BIZNEWS


Saturday, December 10, 2022

University Don Proffers Solution To Sustainable Food Security

A professor of plant breeding and genetics, Professor Cyril Nwangburuka has called for the rescue of the African indigenous vegetable crops in view of their nutritional and medicinal values.

He made the call while delivering the 40th Babcock University inaugural lecture on Thursday.

In his paper, Genetics Improvement of African Indigenous Crops (AIVCS): A panacea to Food Security, Sustainable Health and Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria, Professor Nwangburuka called on government and private sectors to intensify efforts through research to prevent further genetic erosion and extinction of the AIVCs.

He said institutions such as the National Centre for Genetic Resources should be well funded being a national centre for collection and preservation of genetic resources.

Professor Nwangburuka exprerssed concern over the abandonment of the indigenous vegetable crops such as Talinum traingulare (water leaf), Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf), solanum anguivi (Anara), piper guinensis (Uziza) for the exotic improved vegetable crop varieties such as kale, celery, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce.

He said it was regrettable that most of the indigenous vegetable crops are hardly found on the selves of vegetable sellers and when they are available they are considered inferior and often times command less cash value.

 This, according to him, discourages the few sellers of the AIVCs crops and making them unpopular,” he stated.

In view of this, Professor Nwangburuka said there was need to enhance AIVCs innate potentials via crop improvement to achieve their innate potentials for food security, sustainable health and poverty eradicationAccording to him, the AIVCs were in a position to provide the huge underutilized natural food resources, which can conveniently complement the already existing food system if molecular and morphological tools are available for their genetic improvement.

 Professor Nwangburuka added that the AIVCs remained the panacea for poverty alleviation in Nigeria if their huge diversities were urgently harnessed.

He also called on government to provide incentives to growers of the AIV crops to guarantee for sustainable production and thus ensure food security.

According to him, collaboration between the indigenous communities and the conventional plant scientists would produce a synergistic outcome and significantly address health issues in African communities using AIVCs

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