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FG’ll continue to deploy safe agricultural biotechnology to tackle food insecurity, by Ebegba 

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
20 January 2023   |   3:00 am
The Director General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, said the Federal Government is conscious of the contemporary challenges affecting agricultural capabilities in the country. Ebegba, who disclosed this during the National Biosafety-cum-Biosecurity Conference held recently, said government will deploy safe technology to boost food production in the country. He noted that the…

According to the report, the food crisis, which represents 9per cent of the population, may further deteriorate to 8.7 million in the next lean period.

The Director General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, said the Federal Government is conscious of the contemporary challenges affecting agricultural capabilities in the country.

Ebegba, who disclosed this during the National Biosafety-cum-Biosecurity Conference held recently, said government will deploy safe technology to
boost food production in the country.

He noted that the growing population requires safe ingenious method to provide sufficient food for Nigerians, adding that NBMA was
not established to stop genetically modified organisms.

“Our mandate is to see that the biotechnology tool does not pose threat to human health and the biodiversity at large. We are mandated to provide
biosafety and ensure biosecurity,” he said.

The DG said the annual conference is aimed at showcasing Nigerian Biosafety and Biosecurity system, which enables discussion with the stakeholders with the view of coming up with suggestions on how to improve the biosafety-cum-biosecurity system in the country.

While acknowledging the tremendous contributions of the various stakeholders
in ensuring the country is protected against biothreats, he added that the National Biosecurity policy developed by the NBMA is world standard and first of its kind in Africa.
“Let me also recognise the contributions of the various stakeholders to the development of this national policy. For the last one year, we had received other biosafety regulators who came to understudy our biosafety and biosecurity
system.’’

The Federal Minister of Environment, Mohammed H. Abduallahi, represented by the Director of Human Resources, Mr. Lawrence Adigwe said the Federal Government remains committed to addressing food insecurity in the country.

He said food security is important to the stability and survival of every nation. “I urge all hands to be on deck to protect our biodiversity while deploying agricultural biotechnology to boost food production.”

He said the ministry of environment would continue to partner with all stakeholders to exploit relevant technologies that will provide safe and adequate food for Nigerians.

Adigwe stressed that the NBMA under the environment ministry will not rest on its oars till the establishing mandate is achieved.