How GMO Crops can Help Nigeria’s Food Security
The government says it puts public safety first, however, and only approves safe seeds and grains for food and feed processing.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Rufus Ebegba, has said that embracing genetically modified crops, known as GMOs, will be very helpful if Nigeria is to meet her set goals on attaining food security and reduction on import dependency.
The government’s biosafety agency said this while speaking in Lagos last Thursday at a workshop that the agency is working to ensure that only safe genetically-modified seeds and grains are allowed into Nigeria for food and feed processing.
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He said: “Globally, safe science and technology have been known to be drivers of economic change world over, Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind that is why the federal government through NBMA makes sure it approves only safe application of modern biotechnology for the economic development of the country particularly in the Agricultural sector.”
The debate around the safety or otherwise of Genetically Modified (GM) crops have continued to divide opinions in Nigeria.
Some groups have called for the ban of genetic modification of food crops and animals due to concerns over its impact on agriculture and the alteration of the ecosystem.
Critics argue that GMOs do not give higher yields and are not more nutritious than normal crops as being championed.
“We demand a ban on GMOs and a repeal of the National Biosafety Management Agency Act which came into force in the year 2015 and was reviewed in 2019 to include emerging and even more contentious aspects of extremely risky modern biotechnology,” a coalition of civil society organisations said in their demand earlier in the year.