Minister seeks more research, transparency on biotechnology

Amina-MohammedThe Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has called for more research, transparency and openness, as Nigeria ventures into commercial biotechnology.

Amina, who answered journalists’ questions on concerns raised by anti-GMOs on Nigeria’s venture into biotechnology, yesterday noted that the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) had government backing to police the technology in Nigeria.

At a meeting with officials of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in Abuja, Amina called for greater public engagement on the technology. “We need more research and we need to listen to people where they have concerns. We have to answer those frequently asked questions because without responding to people’s concerns, we are leaving perception of not caring or not doing our homework. We have to be more open to people and transparent to everyone, also hear every one’s concern and address them. With the Biosafety Agency now in place, we can begin to do that a lot more.” READ MORE

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Expert Groups across Nigeria Slam Monsanto over Plans to Introduce GM Crops

Nnimmo BasseyOne hundred groups representing over five million Nigerians, comprising of farmers, faith-based organisations, civil society groups, students and local community groups, are vehemently opposing Monsanto’s attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) cotton and maize into Nigeria’s food and farming systems. In written objections submitted to the Nigerian biosafety regulators Monday, the groups have cited numerous serious health and environmental concerns and the failure of these crops, especially GM cotton, in Africa.

Monsanto Agricultural Nigeria Limited has applied to the National Biosafety Management Agency (NABMA) for the environmental release and placing in the market in Zaria and surrounding towns of GM cotton (Bt cotton, event MON 15985). A further application is for the confined field trial (CFT) of two GM maize varieties (NK603 and stacked event MON 89034 x NK603) in multiple locations in Nigeria. READ MORE

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Nigeria needs seed revolution – Ogbeh

Chief Audu OgbehMinister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, says Nigeria needs a seed industry revolution to close the supply-demand gap of about 231,000 metric tonnes.
Chief Ogbeh spoke yesterday in Abuja at the workshop on developing a rapid action plan for quality seed production and presentation of the alliance for a seed industry in West Africa. READ MORE

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Modern Biotechnology ‘ll Trigger Agric Revolution – NBMA DG

Rufus-Ebegba (1)The director-general of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Mr Rufus Ebegba, has said that the safe application of modern biotechnology will trigger agricultural revolution in Nigeria.Ebegba stated this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit on the management of LEADERSHIP newspapers at its corporate headquarters in Abuja.

According to Ebegba, modern biotechnology has the huge potential to enhance the agricultural sector by drastically improving the output of farmers.The NBMA boss said the Biosafety Act recently signed into law by the federal government will enable the new parastatal under the Ministry of Environment to effectively regulate the safe application of biotechnology in the nation. READ MORE

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GM cotton to provide 500,000 jobs – Textile manufacturers

COTTON PHOTOMore than 500,000 Nigerians would be employed in the textile industry when the Genetically Modified cotton is finally released into the market, Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association has said.  The acting Director General of the group, Hamma Kwajaffa, said in a statement yesterday that the GM cotton would reposition the textile industry and create thousands of jobs in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

He said cotton farming in Nigeria over the years had suffered because the opportunity cost of planting cotton had remained high. “We view the recent submission of an application for the environmental release and placing in market of Genetically Modified insect protected (Bt) Cotton that can play an immense role in restoring attraction to cotton farming as well as reviving and repositioning the textile sector as a welcome development capable of reviving the entire industry,” he said. He commended the federal government for establishing the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), to help safeguard human health and environmental safety concerns that the introduction of GMO may generate among members of the public. READ MORE

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Why we are supporting Bt Cotton in Nigeria – Textile manufacturers

Members of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association have thrown their weights behind the application of Monsanto agriculture before the National Biosafety Management Agency for the consideration of Environmental release and placing in market of genetically modified insect-protected (Bt) cotton in Nigeria.

The body said Genetically Modified insect protected (Bt) Cotton can play an immense role in restoring attraction to cotton farming as well as reviving and repositioning the textile sector in the country. In a release made available to Vanguard, the Acting Director General of the association, Hamma Kwajafa, explained that lack of confidence by participants across the cotton value chain over the years restricted the much-needed investment, adding that one of the root causes of this is tied tightly to the most important input in the industry, the cotton crop.  READ MORE

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Nigeria Environment Minister says Biotech has role to play in Economy

The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has said that Nigeria is ready to

 Environment Minister: Mohamed
Environment Minister: Mohamed

deploy biotechnology to boost the economy of the country.

 

In an interview with the press after a courtesy visit to her office by the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa Programming Committee (PC) Members to her office, she explained that Nigeria is blessed with experts in biotechnology and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) is there to ensure safety application of the technology.

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Scientists Developing Climate-Adapted GM Rice

Reducing rice water intake would be a game-changer

Reducing rice water intake would be a game-changer

Genetically engineering a new strain of hyper-efficient, drought-resistant rice, known as C4, is part of a multi-national research effort the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has called one of the “10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2015.”

A team of scientists from eight countries at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Philippines is genetically modifying certain strains of rice to reduce the amount of water required to grow the rice. Rice is a staple food crop in many countries around the world. Rice crop failures have led to malnutrition, disease, and death for millions of people over the past 10,000 years.

Rice plants grow through a chemical process known as C3 photosynthesis, which wastes a great deal of water and reduces plant’s food-making efficiency. It also makes C3 plants vulnerable to the extremely warm weather often experienced in many rice-growing regions of the world.

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DroughtTEGO WE1101: Narok County farmer testimonials

DroughtTEGO WE1101: Narok County farmer testimonials