Monthly Archives: January 2014

AATF Organizes CFT Compliance Training

Compliance TrainingIMG_1963As part of the regulatory requirement for the conduct of Confined Field Trials for Genetically Modified  (GM) Crops, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF, Abuja has organized a Two day Compliance Training for the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea and Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) Rice Projects  team in Abuja from 22 – 24 July, 2014. 

Speaking at the training in his opening remark, the PBR Cowpea Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku of the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), noted that the commitment of the project team members for the past six years has brought about the success of the project today and said “I am sure the team members are ever ready once again to go back to what they are best known for”.

In addition to the words of Prof. Ishiyaku, the Project Manager for the PBR Cowpea in West Africa, Dr. Prince Addae also mentioned that, by the project proposal it is expected that by 2017, the improved cowpea seeds would be given to farmers as such, “the essence of the training is to prepare ourselves to be ready before 2017”.

Additionally, the Program Manger said, “we are preparing to have the 2014 CFT in multi location. From 2009 – 2012 there was only one trial in IAR Zaria, in 2013, there were 8 trials in total including the launch of the multi-location trials in Kano and Zamfara states, the increase in number is also an increase in importance and relevance”. The selection of these additional locations is to test the efficacy of the Bt gene in different Agro Ecological zones of Nigeria.

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The Training which was centered on the fact that, the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea project is to achieve commercial release in Nigeria by 2017, had in attendance Project team members from the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru Zaria, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badagi, Niger State, Savanah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Tamale, Ghana and the Regulatory Officer from AATF, Nairobi, Kenya.

The Training which was centered on the fact that, the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea project is to achieve commercial release in Nigeria by 2017, had in attendance Project team members from the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru Zaria, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badagi, Niger State, Savanah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Tamale, Ghana and the Project Assistant from AATF, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Hon. Ekwunife Uche Lilian Supports Passage of Bio-Safety Bill – It will enhance Green Environment


Hon. Ekwunife Uche Lilian - Chairman House Committee on Environment presents her Opening Remarks

Hon. Ekwunife Uche Lilian – Chairman House Committee on Environment presents her Opening Remarks

Hon. Ekwunife Uche Lilian who is currently the Chairman, House Committee on Environment at a one day Sensitization Workshop in Abuja, that was organized by the  Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), for members of the Nigerian House of representative, once again expressed her profound love for a healthy environment. In her opening remarks she stated that “Biotechnology is as important to the Economy as other Technologies”. In addition, she sad “This gathering I believe is to enable us give the appropriate attention to the passage of the Bio-safety Bill. There is no doubt that Nigeria can use Biotechnology to enhance Green Economy. One of the immediate solutions that addresses  the challenge of Green Environment is Biotechnology. It also contribute to climate change as well as Natural human and Financial Assets. there are no indications that this Technology will have adverse effect on the environment and Human Health. But let me categorically state that we must have proper environmental management practices in place to ensure that, as we go into this, there are no effect on our natural well being and environment. It is our right and duty to protect our environment and nurture it to suit our well being. We must at this workshop understand that Bio-safety implies putting in place proper environmental management practice in other to litigate any effect. Let me also mention here that, Nigeria signed the treaty on Biotechnology in 2000 and 2003 and we must not ignore the fact that this technology is due for domestication”. She therefore calls for a unanimous support of the passage of the Bill by her Honourable colleagues at this event which took place on Thursday, Marc 27, 2014.

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Nigeria and the HURDLE OF Adopting Biotechnology – BluePrint

Proponents of biotechnology recently recorded an important milestone after various speakers from government, research institutions, international agencies and the academia gave the controversial Biosafety Bill pass mark at a public hearing by the Senate Joint Committee on Agriculture & Rural Development, and Science & Technology. In this piece, ETTA MICHAEL BISONG examines their views, with focus on highlighting the benefits of biotechnology to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

 Biotechnology applies biological agents on human, animal, plant and soil materials for health or agricultural reasons towards achieving positive results. However, the application of biotechnology can also have negative effects leading to contaminations, infections, complications, diseases and death. Continue reading

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Nigerian Economy Can Record $11.6bn From Biotechnology – MONSANTO

Nigeria’s economy stands to record an economic output of about $11.6billion if it embraced biotechnology in its agriculture. Vice president, International Row Crops and Global Vegetable Business, Mr Mike Frank, has said.

Frank said at a news conference in Abuja that with the technology, the country’s   smallholder farmers would ultimately be able to have access to ‘another tool in their toolbox’ to make planting decisions and make important contributions to increase food security.

Stating that farmers want this whole technical support so that they could maximise yield, he said: “According to FAO, in developing countries, smallholder farmers produce most of their countries’ food. However, they tend to be generally poorer and less food-secure than the rest of their countries’ populations. More than 60 per cent of people in rural areas live below the poverty line – and the majority are farmers. Many of these farmers struggle due to limited, if any, access to technology and advanced tools to improve farming conditions and increase crop yields,” he noted.

Frank said the effort is rooted in the company’s strategic determination to commercialise and develop the market for genetically modified (GM) crops and other products, adding that it would be reaching out to the different companies in Nigeria   that would be involved in the whole process.

He also said that the technology was safe as scientists around the world and even prominent organisations, including the most prominent scientific bodies in the world – the World Health Organization (WHO), the British Medical Association, the United States National Academy of Science, the French Academy of Medicine, and others have studied and discussed the issue of the safety of biotech products and found no evidence that genetically engineered products were inherently unsafe.

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He also disclosed that the country would need to double its corn production to meet the rising demand for poultry adding that the company would be pleased to be a part of the success story.

“We know that in the next five years, the demand for poultry will be high and the demand for corn will increase. With biotechnology, smallholder farmers will be able to match up with demand,” he said adding that MONSANTO had brought over 40 varieties of corn that would be tested in the country.

writen by: Kingsley Alu – Leadership Newspaper

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Biotechnology and the battle for Nigeria’s Food sovereignty – People’s Daily

akinwunmi-ayo-adesinaAs the nation quivers at the recent reports on Ebola virus and its devastating effects, the disclosure by the National Agricultural Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) that the Nigerian government, is working to fast track the adoption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foods, may again, throw the country over board as it has been viewed as surrendering Nigeria’s food sovereignty to the key players in the biotechnology industry with dire consequences. Ayodele Samuel, writes. Read More…..

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