By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, has said that pesticides and chemicals companies are against the adoption of Genetically Modified Technology, because of fear of losing Nigeria’s agriculture market share.
The DG who spoke during sensitisation campaign on the adoption of biotechnology for food security, in Abuja, said the technology allows farmers to use fewer chemicals, such as pesticides.
According to her, adoption of biotechnology help farmers to utilise more environmentally friendly planting techniques that cut down on soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
Ogbadu, while dismissing the negative concerns about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), said: “The fears and negative concerns being experienced by some people especially, the anti-GMO are baseless.
“Scientifically, over the past 20 years there has not been any report of any negative side or information of GMO anywhere in the world.”
According to the DG, what Nigerian farmers are concerned about is the output and yields, and what it does to their livelihood and the income that it brings to them.
“And because they have not seen any hazardous effect that is associated with this technology, it is acceptable to them.”
In a remark, the Director of Agro-biotechnology, in the agency, Mr. Nasiru Ibrahim, averred that Nigerian farmers spent billions of naira annually to import chemicals and pesticides
“Nigeria is losing a lot by not adopting biotech fully. The farmers alone spend billions annually in importation of pesticide and other chemicals used in farming activities. If biotechnology is fully adopted, this huge amount would be saved.” he said.
Biotechnology, according to him, makes crops resistant to pests and insects that cause diseases, and guarantees high yields.