Africa can’t afford to be left behind as the gene revolution transforms modern farming, African agricultural experts say.
This is especially true for Nigeria, which must feed its rapidly growing population, said Yarama Ndirpaya, director of partnership and linkages at the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).
Nigeria and other African nations appear to be foot dragging or undecided about whether to embrace the innovation of biotechnology — an approach that effectively limited their participation in the industrial and green revolutions that swept the world and the technology revolution that is now under way.
“Unfortunately for us, we’ve always joined the train late,” Ndirpaya said. “When the green revolution came, we were left out. Today the gene revolution is here and we’re dragging feet and before we realize it, the train of the gene revolution may also leave us ….”
Dr. Rose Gidado, Nigeria country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology, said biotechnology has been proven safe from over 40 years of practice in other countries ….
“There are a lot of safety protocols that have to be followed internationally and nationally to ensure that whatever goes out there to either the farmers or consumers is actually very safe. There’s not been any deleterious effect arising from its application anywhere in the world,” she said.
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