Stakeholders call for suspension of genetically modified organisms in crop production

By David Okpashi

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, a non-governmental organization, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, and Smallholder farmers in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently suspend the use of genetically modified organisms, GMO, to grow crops in the country due to its adverse health effect.

Participants at a one-day training organised by HOMEF in Keffi, Nasarawa state said this would reduce the negative health implications in human being, stem increasing cases of cancer and other diseases in Nigeria.

Speaking at the training for smallholders farmers drawn from over 15 states, the programmes manager of HOMEF, Cadmus Enade, said there was urgent need for the suspension of the application of the GMO on crops to reduce the negative effect on Nigerians.

According to Cadmus, agroecokogy farming system which is in line with nature to promote food sovereignty and sufficiency has been abandoned due to the instruction and initiative of GMO by the federal government.

While noting that agroecokogy farming system is safer than GMOs, Cadmus added that the system of farming has brought harmful chemicals into production of crops in the country.

Also speaking, National Secretary, AFAN, Dr. Yunusa Halidu called on the federal government to initiate a policy that would promote bio-fertilizers and organic farming rather than the GMO to enhance the production of healthy food and the environment.

Some participants, Mrs Ujomu Funke from Kwara State and Mrs Omolara Ayodeji from Oyo State noted that most smallholder farmers across the country cannot afford to procure agrochemical products due to the high costs hence the need for the government to set aside substantial resources to promote bio-fertilizer and pesticides production.

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The participating states include Nasarawa, Oyo, Kano and Plateau.

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