Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Biotech Experts Consider Boosting Food Security Through Genetically Modified Organisms

Agricultural biotechnologists are exploring the chances of boosting food security in Nigeria using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

At an Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Abuja on Friday, experts said the theme, ‘Understanding the Role of Genetically Modified Organism in Enhancing Food Security in Nigeria’ was choosing due to increasing poor yields.
They said another factor that triggered the theme was consumers’ increasing demand for better yields for food.
According to them, Genetically Modified Organisms have the potential to address problems associated with crops in the area of rise in temperature, insects and bacteria and generate income for farmers.
Genetic Engineering Methods
Guest speaker at the lecture and the country coordinator, Mrs Rose Gidado, opened the forum.
While giving an insight on the topic, she defined GMOs as plants, animals or organisms whose DNAs have been improved using genetic engineering methods to reduce or resist pest and agents causing harm to them which if adopted will improve growth of plants to assist efficiency.
Other speakers at the event further explained that the technology had the potential to significantly increase production of plants per unit area of land which reduce pesticides and offer safer and more nutritious food that would contribute to environmental sustainability.
There have been fears that GMOs could have negative effect on persons.
The Director General of the National Bio-safety Management Agency, Mr Rufus Ebegba, made the promise on Friday while addressing reporters at a forum in Abuja.
He said that though the technology had its pitfalls if not properly supervised, it remains the sure way to improve food production for Nigeria’s growing population.
Mr Rufus assured Nigerians that his agency would ensure that the implementation of genetically modified organism as alternative to improving food production was properly regulated.
GMO is a scientific process where the gene from the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of a specie of animal or plant is extracted and forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal for improved yield.

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