Biotech Updates

Experts to Nigeria: Don't Neglect Agri Biotechnology

January 23, 2013

Agriculture experts from Nigeria have spoken: the country cannot afford to neglect biotechnology. Despite the arguments raised for and against biotechnology in the country, proponents for the technology are not relenting as they feel that it will answer the country's food problem.

During the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology meeting late last year, Prof. Chris Echekwu, a plant scientist from Nigeria's Ahmadu Bello University, said that biotechnological intervention can help revamp and boost the country's cotton production. However, the experts expressed that for Nigeria to adopt modern biotechnology, a biosafety law must be in place. Nigeria's House of Representatives and the Senate passed the biosafety bill in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but President Goodluck Jonathan has not assented to it yet. Once the biosafety bill is assented to, Nigeria will join African countries such as Burkina Faso, Egypt, and South Africa  in growing biotech crops.

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