Provide tax incentives to research institutions – Prof. Mustapha to African leaders
Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Nigerian National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has appealed to African leaders to waive tax tariffs for private and international organizations who are interested in funding research institutions.
He explained that relieving the tax burden on research-focused organizations would attract investors and create an enabling environment for research.
Prof. Mustapha was speaking as a panel member on the theme: “The role of biotechnology and emerging technologies in transforming agriculture and food systems in Africa” at the African Conference on Agricultural Technology (ACAT) in Kenya, Nairobi.
The five-day event brought together scientists, farmers, researchers, academia, and policymakers.
He said the government has limited funds to finance issues related to biotechnology but can provide incentives that promote adaptation investments, offer risk guarantees, and use procurement contracts that help secure the demand for climate-resilient products and services.
“Governments can use mechanisms like taxes, levies, fees, and royalties to raise funding that allows financial support to be offered for climate risks assessment; extension services including partial credit guarantees, political risks guarantees, and blended finance to help bear the risk adaptation investment, particularly for large-scale investment,” he stated.
Adding her voice to the creation of an enabling environment, Ms. Patience Koku, CEO Replenish Farms said it was time policymakers adapted to biotechnology in order to help with the issue of climate change.
She said that world leaders meet periodically to find measures to address climate change and that one of the potential measures to help in finding solutions to the canker was biotechnology.
“With the usage of genetic seeds, farmers would not have to use a lot of agrochemicals to yield plenty of crops adding that climate change is affecting the biology, distribution, and outbreak potential of pests in a vast range of crops and across all land uses and landscapes” she stated.
She said up to 40 per cent of the world’s food supply was already lost to pests; the reduction in pest impact was more important than ever to ensure global food security, reduce application of inputs, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr Titus Alicai, Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies, National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) asked for the building of more infrastructures for local scientists so they could do more research.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY