At one day stakeholders meeting on Monday organized by the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Science and Technology in Abuja, experts were gathered to discuss and debate on the benefits and otherwise of the introduction of genetically modified organisms(GMOs) in Nigeria.
The farmers at the Meeting on Biosafety and Biotechnology were advised to take advantage of GMOS which they said is aimed at increasing yields.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said GMOs have come to stay in the agriculture sector worldwide.
“We are here to deal with the issue of a new technology. It is scientific and we don’t want sentiments to have upper hand on the issue,” the Minister said.
He maintained that there was nothing wrong with the technologies geared towards guaranteeing food security for the teeming population.
Earlier in her remarks , the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, said we have to sensitizize and consult with the people because nt everyone knows what the GMOs is all about.
“We have to know and have full knowledge of GMOs. We may have to call on the public to contribute to it because Nigerians are not aware of the present development in the world of science.”
On her part, the Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, said Nigerian farmers have been doing modification over the years, adding that the technology was not new in the country.
She explained that , plants and animal modifications had been in place since creation, adding that: “It is a matter of moving desirable genes from same specie to the next generation and it results to hybrid.”
She cited countires said Egypt, Sudan, South Africa and Burkina Faso, with genetically modified commercialised crops while no biosafety laws exist in 32 countries on the continent.
“According to WHO, genetically modified foods currently on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present danger to human health. In addition, the general population in the countries where they have been proved has shown no negative effects on human health as a result of the consumption of such foods,” she added