Stories by FRANK OYAKHILOME
THE Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) Dr Olusegun Ojo, says it is ready to work with the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and other stakeholders towards full implementation of Biotechnology law to boost production in a conference organised by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Nigeria Chapter in Abuja recently..
Ojo who said that the successful operation of a biosafety law in the country would ensure that farmers reap the benefit of modern agricultural biotechnology like their foreign counterparts, emphasized that the Seed Council which regulates and controls all the seed companies in the country are working hard to ensure the proper implementation of the law among the end users who are the farmers.
Ojo who debunked the misleading information on genetically modified products said that Seed council will be the first to benefit from the law that is why we are ready to work with NABDA., advising that other relevant agencies should be involved in creating awareness that the law is safe for usage.
However, ojo said after enough struggle to see that the bill was passed into law, all authorities need to do is to sensitise the public on the methodology and benefit of biotechnology, adding that the public should trust the agencies involved in the implementation of the law and avoid misleading information by unscientific informants that could lead to panic.
The National President, Nigerian Biosafety Association, Mr Ibiang Livinus, during his remarks said the association had observed the process that led to the emancipation of biotechnology law and discovered it was transparent.
Livinus who explains that the process was transparent and carried members of the public along that is why the association is represented to show our support in creating more awareness to farmers, said that Biodiversity is under several threats, so we need laws to checkmate the excess usage of modern technology in the country.
He added that there exists an international consensus that the genetic modification process does not raise any risk over conventional breeding approaches but rather offer quicker precise approach. He said that the awareness was timely as the Federal Government was seeking an alternative measure in boosting food production since the fall of oil price in the international market.
In April this year the former administration led Nigeria to joined the league of biotech countries by signing the bill into law. The biotech law would increase crop productivity, lower the cost of increase crop productivity, guarantee food security and improve the health, livelihood and resource of poor farmers.