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The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS)

Friday, 8 April 2022

GMO, a panacea not to sleep on empty stomach, says NABDA DG

 The application of Genetically Modified Crops (GMOs) technology into our food security programme has a solution to avert people from going to sleep without food in their stomachs, said the DG/CEO National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha. Prof. Mustapha stated this at a GMO food largess hosted by Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) as guests were treated to delicacies made from bt cowpea beans.

 Mustapha said in the outing tagged ‘’ eat is believing- biotech beans advocacy program’’ which had in attendance delegates from Ghana led by the chairman, parliamentary select committee on environment, science, technology and innovation (MESTI) Dr. Emmanuel Marfor and other stakeholders including the media that the panacea to solving food challenges in Nigeria with our growing population was adoption of GMOs biotechnology mechanism to enhance mass production for consumption and commercialization.

The NABDA DG pointed that the Nigeria’s future in food security lies in the ability of being able to adopt biotechnology engineering research mechanism of GMOs to overcome drudgery, drought and pest resistant to foods commercialization that would checkmate Nigerians and Africans being going hungered with farming becoming more profitable business for more job creation.

According to him ‘’ Biotechnology is a cutting-edge technology of the 21th century that has proven world-wide to enhance productivity, reduce drudgery, and increase yields, and it has brought about enhancement of food security in agriculture and economic growth’’ and this is what has compelled the Federal Government (FG) to establish NABDA in 2001 with a mandate to promote, coordinate and set research development priority in Bt for the country.

Citing the achievement of Bt cowpea/bean as a classic example of the improved technology that provides solution to food challenges through increased yield and resistance to various breeding limitations that conventional method cannot address, stressed that biotechnology has potentials to enhance agricultural food productivity.

Prof. Mustapha was however grateful to the main ministry’s support for NABDA in terms of funding and being able to spearhead the passage of the bio-safety bill which took six years at the National Assembly, adding this has provided an enabling and friendly regulatory environment required by the Cartagena Protocol which Nigeria was a signatory.

He appreciated partners like AATF, USAID, USDA, PBS, AU-NEPAD/ABNE, Africa Harvest, Biotechnology International (AHBFI), Nairobi, Bayer International and Crop life International, USA.

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