Worried by the rise in food insecurity and unemployment rate in the country, the Federal Government has been urged to resist and reduce its over dependency on food importation from the western world.
A political ecologist and Director, Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Godwin Uyi Ojo, said if such trend is not addressed, it would lead to over 70 per cent of unemployment in the country as well as increase the menace of cancer and other related ailment from the consumption of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMs).
Ojo gave the advice yesterday in Benin City at a workshop with the theme, “GMs: Enforcing a just Bio-safety path in Nigeria, organised by Environmental Right Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria.
In his presentation, Ojo who called on government to address the dangers posed by food importation and cut down food dependence on Europe by focusing on infrastructural development.
He added that hunger has become a political tool for the manipulation of people and nations, with specially devastating impacts on the poor especially in Africa and Nigeria.
“We are saying it is time government began to exercise its political power and begin to address these issues and cut down food dependence on Europe by focusing on infrastructural development that will allow food that are produced in different regions of the country to be transported and exchanged, so that we meet a food deficit from one area by food surplus from another area.
Explaining the dangers inherent in foreign food imported from the western countries, he said imported food has a lot of health implications like environmental hazards as well as health problems such as cancers and other disease related issues.
He also described them as a tool for crass manipulation and intimidation of those adjudged to be hungry, noting that GMs are a false solution, and its food remain artificial.
According to him, ”GMs is a false solution and the food is artificial .The capacity to produce is far below when you produce normally .It has also health implications, for example it causes cancers as in the case of some test conducted in the UK. Beyond that, the genetically engineering for food production is mainly driven by agro-business for capitalists and profit making venture.
“This is strategic because it is about how to produce food in order to make it available to feed animals which is then transported to European markets, but for Africa and Nigeria, it is time we began to look inwards.
“African’s can feed themselves, Nigeria can feed itself. It is not true that we need dependence on food. The reality is that there is massive food production in Nigeria, most of the foods are wasted and there is no post harvest preservation culture in Nigeria as well as Africa which is the major problem in terms of food production”.