The country coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr Rose Gidado, has said farmers in 28 countries have reaped over $150 billion in benefits from biotech (genetically modified organism) crops since 1996.
She stated this at a media interaction dinner with journalists to mark the end of year activities of the agency in Abuja, describing genetic modification as the fastest adopted technology in human history.
The OFAB boss lauded the positive contribution of the media in effective sensitization on biotechnology, even as she sought more collaboration in further awareness creation on the benefits of biotechnology.
She said: “The GM technology has been the backbone of pharmaceutical industry assisting in the production of drugs for most terminal illnesses or diseases without proven cure. In agriculture, it is estimated that farmers in up to 28 countries have reaped more than $150 billion in benefits from biotech crops since 1996.
“It is the fastest adopted technology in human history. It has come to stay and my challenge to you, gentlemen of the press, is how you can ensure that Nigeria take maximum advantage of the technology to attain food security, making farming a meaningful venture not only for aged farmers but also for the younger generation.”
Listing some of its biggest achievements for the year, Gidado said OFAB had raised levels of awareness and was able to bridge the gap between scientists and journalists for better understanding of biotechnology.
“Through the partnerships and alliances, the impact of OFAB-Nigeria communications and advocacy efforts are now being felt across all sectors of the society. OFAB Nigeria chapter has raised levels of awareness; closed gap between scientists and journalists; and improved policy and regulatory environment on agricultural biotechnology. Bringing the farmers, scientists, researchers and policy makers under the same platform is one major achievement.
“One of the key successes of OFAB-Nigeria was in the area of media engagement that changed the reporting on biotechnology from sensational, biased and inaccurate stories to a more factual, evidence-based and credible one. In addition, there is now a heightened and sustained credible reporting on agricultural biotechnology unlike before,” she added.
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