SCIENTISTS in Nigeria have reiterated the need for the government to invest in agricultural biotechnology to improve the standard of farming in the country and add more money to farmers.
This is just as the scientists dismissed the fears raised in some quarters regarding the healthiness of Genetically Modified Organisms ( GMOs) which is a component of agricultural biotechnology.
The scientists said that GMOs having passed through environmental assessment, health and animal health assessments by professionals, the public should disregard any fears raised by some who does not support the technology.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune, Professor Nwadiuto Esiobu said Nigeria cannot make advances in agriculture without embracing biotechnology.
According to her “Nigeria cannot do without the advances we have made in Agriculture, prominently, in biotechnology, there is no way you dice it, from climate change to population explosion, to competition for land space for agriculture and to our crops don’t give us the best yield, so they are limited genetically.
“So there is no way you dice it, it will amount to immoral if the leaders block agricultural biotechnology from progressing, am really saddened and sorry by the argument and it comes from lack of understanding and proper education.
“Many of the people who brought in agricultural biotechnology, emphasized on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and I know that GMOs don’t hold all the answers and agricultural biotechnology is much larger, perhaps, GMOs constitutes just 10 per cent of agricultural biotechnology, and the nation has allowed itself to be enveloped with the controversy and arguments, and because of that, not make good use of other types of agricultural biotechnology”.
Professor Esiobu who is also the CEO/ Founder of Applied Biotech in Nigeria and America, said “It is important to include soil technology, it is critical to use tissue culture system to select for resistant crops, not necessarily GMOs, all of these are agricultural biotechnology, so the reason people are pushing back agricultural biotechnology is that they think it’s all about GMOs, it is not.