The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa - Nigeria Chapter was represented by Mr. Yarama Ndirpaya, Deputy Director, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and a Member, OFAB Programming Committee (PC) at the 28th Annual International Conference of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) held from 24th-28th August 2013 at the Godfrey Okoye University (GOU), Enugu, Enugu State. The conference tagged GOU 2015, had as its theme “Biotechnology for Agro-Improvement, Health Management and Biodiversity Conservation”.
The conference started with very warm welcome remarks from the Chief Host, Vice Chancellor of GOU. Rev. Father Professor Christian Anieke. After several goodwill messages from the international guests and national dignitaries, the conference was declared open by the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Her Excellency, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo.
The conference brought together biotechnology experts from Universities, Research Institutes and stakeholders in Government, Business, Environment, food, Agriculture and Law. Many scientific papers were presented on recent developments exploiting biotechnological tools to improve crop and animal production, as well as, way in which this technology can be applied in the preservation of our rich biodiversity (Flora and Fauna), which hope to improve our ecosystem. Papers were also presented on better ways of exploring local materials for environmentally sustainable alternatives (biofuel) i.e. for power generation, production of other industrial good. Papers on recent advances in biotechnology in disease control and treatment were also presented.
4. There were over one hundred and twenty-six scientific and lead papers from Nigeria, South Africa, Japan and Zimbabwe. The Keynote address was given by the Head of Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Forte Hare, Alice, South Africa, Prof. Anthony Okoh. Several technical and poster sessions also took place.
5. OFAB was recognized as a very important partner in Biotechnology industry in Nigeria. In addition to making presentation at a plenary session on impact stories of OFAB in Nigeria, a goodwill message was also given by Mr. Ndirpaya on behalf of OFAB Nigeria. There was also an Exhibition Stand for OFAB information materials, which were distributed to hundreds of participants including students.
As reported by Yarama, the following is a summary of observations and recommendations that emanated from the conference:
There was a book launching session at the conference during which the 2015 edition of the Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology, 3 books on Biotechnology and National Development were launched.