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FG seeks scientists’ advice on genetically modified organisms


Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has called on Nigerian scientists to advise the Federal Government on the acceptability or otherwise of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Ogbeh made the call, yesterday, during a working visit to the Agricultural and Veterinary Complex of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.The minister said opinions from indigenous scientists on the matter, would help form government’s decisions, noting that there has been so much debate on the issue.

“Genetic modification has been greeted with skepticism in Europe. It has been seen with suspicion in Africa. Within the reality of science and the anxiety of sentiments, the academics must tell us which one is safe or not.
“I am not a scientist; I am just a farmer. Is GMO safe? Should we suspect it? Should we embrace it? Should we engage it? Is there a ploy by those who engineer it to take over the seed business worldwide?

“Does it threaten our future stability? What should we, laymen, do with GMOs? Should we allow genetically modified grains into this country? Please, help us out,” he appealed.

Earlier, Director of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar, said the institute released 17 varieties of improved cowpea, 13 varieties of cotton, 26 varieties of groundnut, and 54 varieties of maize. Abubakar, however, appealed for increased support from the ministry and the Federal Government, to enable the institute achieves its research targets in 2018.

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Audu Ogbeh
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