Prof. Solomon Bamidele, the Director-General, National Biotechnological Development Agency (NABDA), says Genetically Modified (GM) seeds are inevitable in ensuring world food security.
Bamidele said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
NAN reports that GM seeds are seeds in which the genetic material (DNA) have been altered.
Bamidele noted that while the population of the world was increasing, the arable land for farming was decreasing.
He underscored the need for nations to produce more food from the same land size to feed the ever-growing population.
”I have seen that it is an inevitable thing for the world, because of the increasing malnutrition among our population.
”We need more vitamin A; we need more iron and zinc; granted that in big cities people can buy supplement but how many of our rural population can buy it?
”If it is something that is incorporated in the food they consume on daily basis, they will not be malnourished.
”The world’s population is increasing and we know that the land mass from where agriculture produce is produced is not expanding.
”Malnutrition is not just about the quantity of food consumed but the quality as well, so we now need to produce more food from the same portion of land, if not a decreasing portion,” he said.
He said the challenge posed by desert encroachment to farming could be best managed by planting genetically modified seeds that could better manage water.
However, some farmers, NGOs and Faith-based Organisations, had raised alarm over their perceived effects of the GM seeds, which they claimed were dangerous to soil fertility.
According to the farmers, wherever the GM seeds are planted, local seeds will not germinate there anymore.
The farmers frowned at the idea of depending on external bodies to access seeds for planting, describing such a situation as ”modern-day slavery.”
A Faith-based Organisation termed the GM seeds as an alteration of natural procedure, stressing that it was against the creation plan of God.
The director-general, however, explained that the process was compatible with natural law.
”We are not God, we are only using the knowledge God has given to us to make the world a better place,” he said.