Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Anti-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) activistsâ€Ž under the auspices of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has alleged plans to subvert and destroy Nigeria’s food system to make the country dependent on foreign seed and chemical companies like Monsanto, Syngenta and the rest.
The Executive Director, HOMEF, Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, during stakeholders meeting held in Abuja on the nationâ€™s food system, said the plan by the proponents of GMOs would lead to food scarcity in the country.
â€ŽHe decried dangers of modern biotechnology, saying that there are other alternatives that could help increase food production, and still beneficial to the environment.
According to him, “the assertion that the country should embrace modern biotechnology to realise its drive towards food sufficiency was false.”
â€ŽHe said: â€œNigeria does not need modern biotechnology to solve food challenges. The issue of productivity to feed increasing population, because people are hungry is being employed by the industry to secure markets for their products.â€
Bassey explained that the nation still produces enough food but most of the food commodities got destroyed due to post harvest losses and lack of good storage system.
He added: â€œThe contamination and pollution of the seeds being used by the small scale farmers is not accidental but a direct plan to subvert and destroy the food system to make Nigerians and Africans dependent on foreign seed and chemical companies like Mosanto, Syngenta and the rest.â€
He called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop seeds from the local research institutes and ensure seed certification to prevent arbitrary distribution of seeds to farmers.
Bassey also stressed the need to provide basic infrastructure, especially good rural road networks to create easy access to the markets and increase mechanisation.
He emphasised that the country should revert to the Directorate of Food and Rural Infrastructure to provide needed infrastructure and get foods from the farm to the markets.