By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja
The Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology OFAB (Nigeria Chapter) says most successful economies in the world adopt the use of biotechnology to boost their Agricultural productivity.
The Country co-ordinator of OFAB Nigeria Dr. Rose Gidado stated this in an interview with Journalist in Abuja at the 2nd edition of the Seed connect Africa Conference.
Dr. Gidado said the countries like the United State of America and a host of others are food secured because they make use of biotechnology and other appropriate technologies to grow their agriculture sector
Safe for human consumption
On the issues of safety of GMO’s Dr. Gidado said the technology has been certified safe for human consumption by the relevant regulatory agencies in the world.
“The issue of safety have been laid to rest because the internationally recognised regulatory bodies, the WHO, FAO, OECD because they have carried out their own independent safety assessments on this crops and there’s no way you can develop all this and term it safe and wholesome food without the endorsement of WHO so the issue of safety is taken care of.”
“Biotechnology can contribute to enhancing food security so that we can eradicate hunger and poverty in Africa,” she added
She said quality seed is the foundation of agricultural productivity in Africa and the seed sector needs to be developed to get agriculture right adding that when Nigeria gets it right in the seed Industry then the entire African continent will benefit from it.
Develop the seed sector
“Once you get it at the seed level, you’ve got it all, it is the life wire of productivity, seed is the foundation of agriculture if we have to grow agriculture which I know we really need in Africa and especially Nigeria because of our population, if we don’t develop the seed sector then we have lost it,” he said.
Dr. Gidado said the conference would impact positively on Biotechnology because there was no mention of improved seeds for high yields without the mention of biotechnology.
“It is actually going to impact positively on agricultural biotechnology because when you are talking about improving seeds, having quality seeds, seeds that will actually impact the life of the farmers that will empower them and give them bumper harvest off course you are talking about the use of biotechnology or other technologies in Agriculture,” he stated.
She added that the seed connect conference was making impact in the seed sector in Africa as countries and seed companies have shown interest by attending the conference.