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FG Take Advatage Of Biotechnology To Create Employment – OFAB Coordinator

Mrs Rose Gidado, the Coordinator, Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB), has urged the Federal Government to take advantage of the frontiers attained in biotechnology to address unemployment.
Gidado, who is the coordinator of the Nigerian chapter of OFAB, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.
NAN reports that Burkina Faso and Brazil are already reaping the benefit of embracing biotechnology.
Burkina Faso makes 1.2 billion dollars yearly and Brazil two billion dollars yearly from biotechnology.
According to her, biotechnology can provide 25, 000 job opportunities yearly in Nigeria if properly handled.
She said that Nigerian farmers and the country stood to gain from the adoption of biotechnology.
She said that biotechnology had great potential in promoting the production of high quality seeds for farmers for better yields.
“It is obvious that there is going to be direct and indirect employment and production of high quality materials for industries regarding the emergence of National Biotechnology Management Agency (NBDA) in the country,“ she said.
The agency’s mandate is to ensure adequate level of protection in the field of safe transfer, handling and use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on conservation.
It also ensures sustainable use of biodiversity, taking into account risks to human health, animals, plants and environment.
She said that modern biotechnology as a term adopted by international convention to refer to biotechnological techniques for the manipulation of genetic material and the fusion of cells beyond normal breeding barriers.
She explained that the nation would earn more foreign income from exporting modern biotechnology products to international communities.
She said that such would help to advance the national economy and open new frontiers.
Gigado said that the benefits of biotechnology would be evenly spread among biotech companies, farmers and consumers.
“GM technology makes quality seeds available to farmers, creates opportunities; increases crop yields; reduces losses to insects, pests and diseases; post-harvest storage problems and enhances the nutritional value of some crops.
“ It increases resistance to abiotic stress such as drought and high soil salinity, resulting in increased crop production,’’ she said.
She added that that biotech would benefit Nigeria as it would ensure that more foods were grown with less money and labour. (NAN)

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