My name is Nkechi Ubani Isaac. I am from the Abia State located in the South Eastern part of Nigeria. I come from a very small family of five; born to Mr and Mrs Isaac Ogwo. I have two siblings, my elder sister, Linda and my younger brother, Edward.
I had a very humble beginning, with parents who were not well educated; my father was a tailor and my mother was a petty trader. They had difficulties giving us a proper education and as a matter of fact my siblings worked their way through university while I was sponsored by my aunt, my mother’s younger sister.
Today, I have a university degree, and am currently in a Master’s program back in Nigeria. I have a successful career in journalism with the sole vision of making a difference. Coming from a very humble background, I know what poverty feels like. I know what it feels like to be helplessly poor and unable to care for loved ones. I have learned the hard way that the worst kind of poverty is the inability to put food on the table for one’s family.
The poverty index shows that over 100 million people still live below one dollar per day in Nigeria. The current economic recession in Nigeria, insurgency and restiveness in parts of the country is also another factor to contend with. This is despite the recent UN report projecting that Nigeria, with a population of over 180 million, will grow to become the third largest country in the world by 2050, with an estimated population of over 300 million.
With such a huge population explosion, Nigeria may stand the risk of food insecurity and possible starvation if it does not embrace agricultural innovation to feed its citizens. I strongly believe that biotechnology will enable the nation use cutting-edge technology to create more employment, boost food production, relieve hunger and ultimately enhance economic development.
I am participating in the 2016 Cornell Alliance for Science Global Fellowship Leaders Programme because of my desire to make a difference. I want to learn more about the science of biotechnology in order to persuade Nigerians and policy makers to key into, and fully adopt the technology to tackle our food challenge. My job as a journalist is done if I can effectively communicate the benefits of this science and ensure we have enough food to feed our nation.