Nigeria needs GMO crops to boost food security, promote food safety, government says

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Cassava harvest in Nigeria. Credit: IFPRI/Milo Mitchell

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, announced that the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria is working hard in applying genetic engineering and biotechnology. This is to ensure food safety and security in the country, as it recognizes the importance of both fields in boosting local food production and decreasing the need for continuous importation of food and commodities from other countries.

The announcement was made during a training workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, where scientists from 21 countries were present to participate in a basic laboratory training on living modified organisms detection and identification.

In his declaration, Minister Onu said that the Ministry of Science and Technology will continue to support the National Biotechnology Development Agency, or NABDA. NABDA’s mandate is to promote, coordinate and deploy cutting-edge biotechnology research and development, processes and products for the socio-economic well-being of Nigeria. Through NABDA, the Ministry aims to strengthen Nigeria’s agriculture while at the same time protecting the environment as well as guaranteeing the achievement of rapid industrialization.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Demand for non-GMO food suggests consumers want 'easy' answers to nutrition and health

Minister Onu also commended the organizers of the workshop for allowing scientists to come together to help bridge the knowledge gap on genetic engineering and biotechnology, which he believes will benefit both developers and consumers alike. Better knowledge on both technologies will make a positive impact on Nigeria’s national growth and development through improvement of crops and animal production.

Read full, original article: Crop Biotech Update September 25, 2019

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