FG Committed To Food Security, Says Minister
The Federal Government on Thursday said it was determined to embrace technology that would ensure safe and adequate food for all Nigerians as part of its zero hunger initiative.
Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Muhammed, stated this in Abuja during the second National Biosafety conference with the theme: “Biosafety, Food Security and Economic Development in Nigeria.”
The event was organised by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in collaboration with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMDRC).
She stated that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to ensuring food security for all Nigerians; hence the reason government is making urgent effort to use agriculture as part of its diversification agenda for our economy.
The minister stressed that for Nigeria to be food sufficient, there was need to look to the scale of the challenge, underscoring the need for modern agricultural practices, and the need to increase investment to enhance international cooperation
She said: “What is clear to me today, there is still insufficient clarity as to how we are going to address as a country, the major concern of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
“In furtherance to its commitment to zero hunger, the government will embrace technology that will provide safe and adequate food for Nigerians, hence, the government established NMBA to enable Nigerians benefit maximally from the practice of safe modern biotechnology.
”Before the end of the year the ministry together with NBMA will produce a policy document that will give that charity so that you can see and get pass those concerns for us to actually get on to the business of regulating and making everything.”
In his remarks, the Director General, NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba said biosafety regulation of modern biotechnology and GMOs was very crucial for safety assurance and confidence building
He said: “Science and technology are some of the drivers of change and Nigeria as a country cannot continue to look backward for obsolete technologies to drive her socio-economic survival.
“The opportunities in the adoption of safe technologies are endless and their borders seamless. However strong regulation is required for safety. The presence of National Biosafety Management Act and the National Biosafety Management Agency are assuring enough.
“This is therefore not the time to get bogged down with fears, or inconsistencies or lethargy. Nigeria cannot afford to stand aloof or left behind in this fast growing world.”
The DG assured Nigerians to be rest assured of the protection of their health and the environment by the agency on matters concerning GMOs.