Vanguard (Lagos)

10 November 2012

Nigeria: Country Will Benefit From Modern Biotechnology in Agric - Expert

Abuja — Prof. Eucharia Kenya, an expert in biotechnology and Science Communication, has said that Africa and Nigeria in particular, would benefit from the application of modern biotechnology to agricultural practices.

Speaking in Abuja on Saturday, Kenya said that the technology would boost agricultural productivity by assisting in the development of new crops and in combating insects that destroy plants and animals.

"Biotechnology guarantees food security and allows us to develop new crops, new types of animals as well as prevent infectious insects in our environment.

"Most of our crops cannot survive due to some insects which are depending on these crops as their own food; with the application of this technology, crops and other organisms will survive.

"Due to the African environment, insects have overpowered crops and animals, but with the new technology, our environment, crops and other organisms are saved."

On the safety of the new technology, Kenya said that adequate measures had been developed to ensure the safety of its application.

"This is a new technology that our people don't fully understand; some of the potential risks are not clear and therefore, we insist that the system must go through regulation and safety test before application."

Similarly, Prof. Diran Makende, a director in NEPAD, said that Africa and Nigeria in particular, needed the new technology as it ensures food and environmental security.

"When you look at the population of Nigeria, if we can embrace the innovation, we can be assured of food security.

"We need this tool to actually make our food secure," he said.

Also commenting, Prof. Muffy Koch, a global bio-safety specialist, urged the National Assembly to enact a law that would ensure the safe application of modern biotechnology.

NAN

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