Expert advises farmers to adopt gene drive-based pest control technology

S. Thompson,  naija247news,  2020.

Dr Rose Gidado, County Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology(OFAB), has advised farmers to adopt the gene drive-based pest control technology.

Gidado, also Deputy Director, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said the adoption would significantly help to restore Nigeria’s food crop industry.

Gidado spoke on Monday in Abuja in an interview with the news Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Gene drive is a genetic engineering technology that propagates a particular suite of genes throughout a population by altering the probability that a specific allele will be transmitted to offspring from the natural 50% probability.

She noted that in agriculture, gene drive was recently applied to control invasive species or eliminate herbicide and pesticide resistance.

According to her, Nigerian agricultural system is dominated by the application of synthetic pesticides which have resulted in environmental pollution.

Gidado said that it had contributed greatly to climate change, with lethal consequences like increased pest attack, decreased crop yield and extreme heat stress in plants.

The scientist said the application of gene drive in Nigeria’s agricultural system, would help greatly in the control of deadly insect pests which cause damages to crops and reduction in food production.

More related to this:

Anticipating complexity in the deployment of gene drive insects in agriculture

Genetic pest management technologies to control invasive rodents

Towards the genetic control of invasive species

Technology Factsheet: Gene Drives

Viewpoint: Is there a scientific basis to ban gene drive technology that can rid us of virus-carrying rodents and mosquitoes?