Genetically Modified Crops Key to Nigeria's Food Security?

The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Rufus Ebegba, said his agency is working to ensure that only safe genetically modified seeds and grains are allowed into Nigeria for food and feed processing. Embracing genetically modified crops, known as GMOs, will be very helpful if Nigeria is to meet her set goals on attaining food security and reduction on import dependency, the government's biosafety agency has said. 

As food scarcity looms in Nigeria, scientists have reported that genetically modified crops have more yields, require less spraying, and enhance the nutrient composition. They also are resistant to pests and disease. The debate around the safety or otherwise of Genetically Modified (GM) crops has continued to divide opinions in Nigeria. Some groups have called for the ban of genetic modification of food crops and animals due to concerns over its impact on agriculture and the alteration of the ecosystem. Critics argue that GMOs do not give higher yields and are not more nutritious than normal crops as being championed.

Genetically modified crops (commonly referred to as GM crops) are plants used in agriculture, whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering methods.

Each genetically modified rice plant in the greenhouses has a barcode and transponder, allowing it to be accurately identified at any time (file photo).

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