Nigeria evaluating nitrogen and water efficient salt tolerant GMO rice

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The federal government and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) on November 4 inaugurated Nigeria’s first Confined Field Trial (CFT) facility for the production of a genetically improved African rice variety known as Nitrogen-use efficient, Water-use efficient and salt-tolerant (NEWEST) aimed at addressing the country’s  food challenge.

The Acting Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita said: “This project which is a multiple-stakeholders partnership is being coordinated by AATF to develop genetically improved Africa rice varieties with enhanced agronomic traits or better yields under abiotic stress.”

She said NEWEST rice was a clear pointer on the way forward for agricultural development in the country.

“Today, while it seems that much of the world has moved forward in food production, Nigeria has remained on one spot. Over the past three decades agricultural productivity has been stagnant or steady decline. This is mainly due to underinvestment particularly in modern agriculture science.

“If we do not use this technology to make a significant and lasting impact in the rates of hunger, under-nutrition and poverty in the country, then we will have failed our nations and ourselves.”

The enactment of the Biosafety Act, according to her, would allow the safe application of modern agricultural biotechnology practice in the country.”

Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, admitted that modern biotechnology has been an issue of great concern to many people who do not really understand it. The inauguration of the CFT facility, she added brings more clarity on cautions that scientists put into practice to ensure that everything is done with care to the improved rice.

Read full, original post: FG, AATF Inaugurate First Confined Field Trial Facility for Genetically Improved Rice Production

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