There is no going back on the commercialisation of Genetically Modified (GM) products in Nigeria, an official has said.
Dr Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) said at the biotechnology stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja yesterday that all had been set to begin full commercialisation of GM products in Nigeria soon.

She said cowpea, bio-fortified sorghum and cotton would be commercialised in large quantities in Nigeria in a few years’ time.

“These GM crops, currently undergoing field trials in Nigeria, are major staple crops and possess significant importance in improving the economic situation by combating hunger as well as malnutrition and deploying safer agricultural practices in Nigeria,” Dr Gidado said.

The claims that GM foods are unsafe for consumption are unfounded, unscientific and baseless, according to the OFAB coordinator.

“Nigerians should be re-assured that Genetically Modification technology is safe, beneficial and can contribute to the GDP and attract investment to Nigeria,” she said.

Earlier, the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, said the present crop of farmers in the country could not feed Nigerians.

According to him, 70 per cent of farmers are still poor because they have failed to adopt modern technology in carrying out their trade.

Biotechnology, he said, offered the best opportunity for farmers to increase their yields and make more money for themselves and the country.