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Food Security: NBRDA allays fears about GMOs

By George George Idowu

The National Biotechnology Research Development (NBRD) is championing the rapid adoption of biotechnology, particularly genetic engineering, to unlock new opportunities for enhancing agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

The Director-General of NBRD, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha emphasized this during a Ministerial Meeting on Demystifying Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) held in Abuja recently.

Mustapha highlighted that the world is currently at a critical intersection where scientific advancements in biotechnology intersect with societal values and concerns.

He stressed the importance of engaging in open, transparent, and inclusive dialogues around biotechnology, especially GMOs, to dispel misconceptions and address concerns regarding safety, regulation, ethics, and socio-economic impacts.

The meeting served as a platform for informed discussions and collaborative actions involving stakeholders from various sectors, including government, academia, industry, farmer groups, civil society, and the public.

On her part, Dr. Rose Gidado, Director of the Agricultural Biotechnology Department at NBRD, emphasized the urgency of achieving food security through innovation, science, and technology, echoing the government’s commitment to addressing food security as an emergency.

According to her, modern biotechnology practices offer significant promise for enhancing food security in Nigeria.

Similarly, the National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabir Ibrahim, also endorsed GMOs as safe and capable of lifting farmers out of poverty.

Ibrahim emphasized the necessity of leveraging science and technology to upscale food production and meet the needs of the growing population.

The NBRD’s call to embrace biotechnological advancements underscores a proactive approach towards leveraging technology to address pressing national challenges like food security and agricultural development.

This advocacy signals a pivotal shift towards harnessing innovation for sustainable and inclusive growth in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

 

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