Nigerian Farmers Are In Support Of Genetically Modified Corn, Cotton – AFAN | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigerian Farmers Are In Support Of Genetically Modified Corn, Cotton – AFAN

GMO Corn and Cotton
Posted: Apr 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chibuzor Emejor

Abuja – Kabiru Ibrahim, President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, [AFAN], has said Nigerian farmers are completely in support of the introduction of genetically modified corn and cotton to  boost productivity.

“Farmers are completely in support of bio-technology but brief-case farmers are the only ones who are making noise about it,” he told journalists during the 2016 National Agricultural Show which held in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

“We embrace bio-technology. We support it because it is the only thing that can take farmers out of poverty. If you check Burkina Faso, today they are using BT cotton to ramp up the economy and Nigeria should do the same.

“The good sign is that all the clamours from anti-GMO group are not science-based. Nobody can fault the technology from the science point of view.

“It is all sentiment and we don’t share that. We encourage people to embrace bio-technology and especially now that there is work going on to apply bio-technology to cotton,” he said.

It will be recalled that two applications for consideration for confined field trials of Bt Cotton and Bt Corn were recently submitted to the National Bio-safety Management Agency by Monsanto Agriculture Nigeria Limited.

The two applications are currently being reviewed.

Speaking further on the benefits of the technology to farmers and the Nigerian economy, Ibrahim said, “Cotton is a cash crop and we will use to make money in Nigeria.

According to him, “Farmers will always have the option to discontinue subsistence farming. Genetically improved or modified seeds of corn can produce about 24 metric tonnes per hectare as against what we produce today which is barely two tonnes per hectares.

“Soon, the farmers in your village will be supporting you to live in the city. He  will not have to come to the city and the migration from the village to the city will stop once people can feed themselves, get some money, pay school fees, get medical care do everything for themselves they will not come  to the city.”

He emphasised the role of the newly established National Bio-safety Management Agency  which is empowered to regulate the introduction of Genetically Modified Products in the country.

He said:”The Bio-safety bill that was passed shows the emphasis on safety in the use of GMOs. I was a spokesman for the passage of that bill; the farmers understand that there are risks there but it can be mitigated by proper application of the technology and this is what happens all over the world.

“One can mitigate those risks by applying good practices and safety valves, which is why we have the Bio-safety bill and Bio-safety Agency,” he concluded.