The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an ecological think tank and advocacy organisation, has called on smallholder farmers to boycott continuous propagation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in order to preserve and protect the country’s biodiversity.
The organisation made the call in Abuja recently at a dialogue with medical practitioners on GMOs and the state of biosafety in Nigeria. The group stressed that the bedrock of biosafety is to take necessary precautions towards ensuring that indigenous crop species are not compromised, adding that the key to food safety and food sovereignty is food diversity preservation.
However, they decried that adoption of genetically engineered crops will only streamline the country’s food variety, with possible negative impacts on human and environmental health. The adoption of GMOs in Nigeria has always been a subject of debates. While some experts believe that the Nigerian farmers are yet to fully understand the efficacy of planting GM seeds, others argue that planting of GM seeds will help to produce enough food for the growing global population.
Some analysts have posited that genetic engineering in agriculture ignored the fact of interdependence of species, which is greatly contributing to soil toxicity, destruction of several other crops, as well as beneficial soil microorganisms. Genetically modified crops (commonly referred to as GM crops) are plants used in agriculture, whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering methods. Premium Times