A professor of Food Microbiology, Prof. Ezekiel Otunola, has called for urgent global collaboration against food insecurity.
He made the call while delivering the 24th inaugural lecture of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
Otunola’s lecture was entitled: ‘The Battle Against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Significant Contributions of The Smallest Creatures.’
Otunola warned that the pace at which hunger and malnutrition was ravaging the world might reach a devastating level if urgent global steps were not taken.
“It should be noted that developed parts of the world which might feel secured may become affected due to migration, either legally or illegally.
“This would lead to rapid population increases and refugee challenges in such countries,” he said.
He expressed dismay that global food and nutrition insecurity had resulted in serious consequences, especially among vulnerable groups such as children, women and the elderly.
“To arrest the situation, hitherto untapped facilities and resources must be harvested decisively and rapidly.
“Fermentation technologies, even at local and traditional levels, should be considered as viable options in combating and eliminating hunger globally, and especially in the developing countries.
“These low-cost technologies, that is especially suitable for rural communities, stand the chance of being upgraded to industrial levels and attain sustainability,’’ he said.
Otunola stressed the need to take advantage of the more advanced modern biotechnology, saying these offer amazing promises in solving the problem of hunger and malnutrition around the world.
He advised developing countries, including Nigeria, to follow closely the developed countries in the development of bio-based economy given the diversity of their bio-resources.
The don also suggested that concerted efforts be made globally to break the vicious cycle of hunger, poverty and disease if the world was desirous of enjoying a measure of peace in the nearest future.
“It is also important, and indeed imperative, that developing countries, especially Nigeria, invest heavily in research, particularly those related to biotechnology/bio-informatics, information and communication technology as well as nanotechnology.
“These are the propelling forces for the ensuing bio-based economy that may soon dominate the global landscape,” he said. (NAN)