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Experts decry rejection of biotechs, gene modification

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
01 October 2021   |   3:02 am
Experts have decried the non-usage of modern biotechnology and genetic modification as tools to enhance agricultural productivity in many countries in Africa.

PHOTO :UQ Global

Experts have decried non-usage of modern biotechnology and genetic modification as tools to enhance agricultural productivity in many countries in Africa.

They spoke during a virtual inauguration of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Day for Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

Executive Director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation Association (AATF), Dr. Canisius Kanangire, said it had been difficult putting the issue of biotechnology forward in countries in some regions.

He argued that they were not coming to terms with the innovations to increase agricultural productivity, calling on those nations to adopt genetic modification to make food available to the population.

Another speaker, Dr. Wilber Ottichilo of Kenya, said any nation that would not embrace modern science would be left behind, regretting that this had generated controversies in Africa and the globe.

Explaining further, Ottichilo added: “We have so many protocols at regional levels and we are looking forward to having frameworks on the ground. This breeds debates regarding the implementation of the agreements.”

He, therefore, commended the countries that were quick to put in place legal frameworks to adopt new technologies, saying the United States, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and Burkina Faso had gone far.

Also, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha of Nigeria said OFAB in Africa had become synonymous with biotechnology, genetic and gene editing, adding that all these tools had the capability to enhance agricultural productivity.

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