- FG Agency to Introduce GM Rice, Beans, Sorghum
The first set of genetically modified crops approved by the Federal Government is to be released in the country in two years, the National Biotechnology Development Agency has said.
The Director-General, NABDA, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, disclosed this at a special session of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology held at the Ministry of Communications in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogbadu named the crops that would be released in two years as rice, beans and sorghum.
According to her, the crops are currently going through the final trial prior to their release by selected farmers.
She explained that the new rice had been fortified with genes that make it nitrogen efficient, water efficient and salt tolerant.
The bean, on the other hand, has genes that make it pest-resistant so that the farmer can enjoy a good harvest. The sorghum, on the other hand, is fortified with minerals and vitamins.
The NABDA boss said, “The products that are in the pipeline have been carefully selected to meet the needs of our people. Biotechnology is not really new. It enables the introduction of genes that may not be in an organism for the benefit of mankind.
“Some genetic modification allow for the introduction of insect-resistant organisms so that a crop can do well. It takes about 10 years to ensure the safety of genetically modified organisms.
We have lost out in many other technologies. We should not lose out in this technology to take care of hunger in the land.”
Ogbadu said even though no genetically modified product had been approved in the country, she added that she was not worried about any GMO product that might have entered the country illegally, because there was no record of any bad effect of GM products anywhere in the world.