The National Agriculture Seed Council (NASC) has commenced sensitisation of Nigerian seed companies in preparation for the commercialisation of Genetically Modified Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cowpea and cotton by 2018.
A sensitisation workshop … was staged to educate seed companies that are expected to play a major role in the distribution of genetically engineered seeds when the nation finally commercialises it next year.
According to [director-general of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo], “GM seeds are a significant step forward in the production of agricultural crops. GM seeds are seeds that have been modified to contain specific characteristics such as resistance to herbicides or resistance to pests. But the method of modification used with GM seeds varies from the conventional method in an important respect: the genes have not been modified over generations of cross-fertilization but rather inserted directly into the DNA of the seed.”
Earlier in his remarks, the communication officer of [African Seed Trade Association], Aghan Daniel, noted that Africa still remained a minor player in the global seed trade, accounting for less than 2 percent, saying modern biotechnology provides Africa with tools for trait improvements in crop germplasm for increased grain yields in ways compatible to human and environmental welfare.
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