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    Experts Advocate for GMOs to Promote Food Security

    The National Biotechnology Development Agency, in conjunction with Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu and other partners, has called for the adoption of genetic modified organisms (GMOs) to boost food production in the country.

    The National Biotechnology Development Agency, in conjunction with Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu and other partners, has called for the adoption of genetic modified organisms (GMOs) to boost food production in the country.

    This was disclosed in Enugu during a 1-day South East Biotech- Biosafety Sensitization Workshop with the theme “The Role of Biosafety Regulation and Modern Biotechnology Towards Realizing Economic Diversification in Nigeria.”

    GMO technology is the alteration of DNA of an animal, plant, or microbe using genetic engineering techniques, in contrast to the use of breeding methods to modify organisms through selective and cross-breeding, which takes a long time.

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    The Vice-Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Rev. Fr. Dr. Christian Anieke, represented by the institution’s DVC, Rev. Sr. Prof. Sylvia Nwachukwu, noted that the university hosted the workshop because of its interest in sciences and other fields of knowledge that enhance human life, including GMO research and development.

    The experts claimed that conventional food production can no longer meet the needs of the growing population of Nigeria. They explained that GM foods are safe just like conventional foods, and currently BT cowpea beans and cotton are commercially available, while Tella maize is on trial stage.

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    In his remarks, the Director General of NABDA, Prof. Abdulahi Mustapha, said that the workshop is part of on-going efforts to increase sensitization on modern biotechnology practice and biosafety regulation in agriculture in the country.

    Mustapha noted that there is a need to fashion out strategies on how to improve and boost agricultural productivity in Nigeria, which is currently at a crossroads of a looming food crisis, unlike the last 30 years when the population was smaller with very productive soil.

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