Food security: Expert canvases urban farming | Dailytrust

Food security: Expert canvases urban farming

The country coordinator, Open Forum for National Biotechnology in Africa, Nigeria chapter, Dr Rose Gidado, has appealed to the federal government to promote urban agriculture to mitigate food scarcity.

Gidado, a deputy director, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Abuja, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

She said urban agriculture would address issues surrounding insecurity in many parts of the country.

Gidado said that “hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics’’ were all new urban agriculture techniques that should be promoted.

She said greenhouse farming technology should be promoted to boost food production and self-sufficiency.

According to her, hydroponics is a technology for growing plants in nutrient solutions that supply all nutrient elements needed for optimum plant growth.

“It is done with or without the use of an insert medium, such as gravel, vermiculite, rock wool, peat moss, sawdust, coir dust and coconut fiber.

“Aeroponics is an innovative technique of misting the roots, which are suspended in the air, with hydroponic solution. Plants are supported by tailor made holes in Styrofoam panels.

“Aquaponics means raising fish and plants in the same water source. The fish actually provide the fertiliser for the plants and the plant roots filter the water for the fish.

“Greenhouse is a type of farming in which crops are cultivated under protected and enclosed environment.

“Its advantage is to keep out pests and diseases. It also has a comparable yield advantage to open filed cultivation of crops.

“Urban agriculture will enable people practise farming within their homes and environment, thereby increasing food production.

“We have urban agriculture, and it should be promoted by the government. Urban agriculture will mitigate against issues of herdsmen, Boko Haram, banditry and the likes.

“All we need is to promote urban agriculture. People need to be taught how to farm on top of their rooftops, in containers and polythene bags,” she said. (NAN)