The world over, research is taking place in the field of agriculture where scientists are looking to see into the significance and safety of genetically modified food for human consumption. The case is not too different in Nigeria.
According to findings so far, genetically modified plants are produced for human consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. Such plants are being modified in the laboratory with a view to enhancing desired result like increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content that is safe and secure for consumption.
Thus far, it is believed that the genetically modified foods are quite safe and contain basic nutrients required in the body. As world population is increasing and demand for land is rising, such an innovation is seen as the most effective solution to boosting food production in especially countries where agriculture has a stake in their Gross Domestic Product.
In Nigeria, till date the government is yet to ratify the bio-safety bill which will give the researchers a head start in stating their research findings on crops they have tested, hence giving ultimate assistance to farmers through their findings.
In defence of GM foods, professor of biotechnology and cowpea farmer, Mohammad Ishiyaku, of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, says there is not yet any research in the world that points to it being harmful for consumption, to which he called for government intervention in the realization of the dream to once again revive farming in the north and Nigeria at large.
In the past, Nigeria has a massive tradition of producing crops that serve as means of revenue generation but over the years and with less priority being accorded agriculture, the story changed rapidly.
It is obvious that Nigeria has abundant human skill and with the institute doing a great job on its part, it is possible to improve on already existing scientific knowledge. For that to happen there could be need to exploit or use international contact if the federal government is truly committed.