June 15, 2024

Suspend GMO initiative in Nigeria -AFAN, NGO, Smallholder farmers urges FG

Suspend GMO initiative in Nigeria -AFAN, NGO, Smallholder farmers urges FG

Agric Minister, Abubakar Kyari

…says negative impact on human health alarming

By David Odama, Lagia

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (AFAN), a Non Governmental Organization, Health Of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and Smallholder farmers in Nigeria have appealed to the federal government to urgently suspend the use of Genetically modified Organization (GMO) to grow crops in the country.

This, the experts explained would reduce the negative health implications in human being, step increasing cases of cancer and other diseases in Nigeria.

Speaking at a one day training organized by Health Of Mother Earth Foundation for small holders farmers drawn from over 15 states in Keffi, Nasarawa state, Programmes manager of HOMEF, Cadmus Enade, said there was urgent need for the suspension of the application of GMO on crops to reduce the negative effect on Nigerians.

According to Cadmus, agroecology 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 agroecology farming system is safer than Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Cadmus added that the system of farming has brought harmful chemicals into production of cropsin the country.

“We have overtime discovered that GMO is harmful to the health and well-being of people, the environment, animals and the biodiversity around. The practice of agroecology farming system can also curtail the causes of climate by replenishment of the ecosystem which has been destroyed massively with the application of chemicals that fast destroy the ecosystem today”.

“So this training is aimed at training community farmers in Nasarawa on how best they can use agroecology practices to enhance their food production and their livelihoods because agroecology is not just a practice but also a scientific way of producing safe food and making it sufficient for farmers.

“It involves using organic produce, organic items that you can find around your environment. It also means producing crops without any form of chemical involvement, usage. So we are encouraging local farming systems that boost food security and safety,” he said.

He however called on governments at all levels and regulatory bodies to focus the search light on some big stores who are currently sell GM foods but unknown to many customers who do not have the culture of reading labels before consumption and therefore not knowing exactly what they are consuming.

Mr. Enade hinted research carried showed that some of the GM seeds resulted in massive death of birds in farms, death of some kinds of grasses where these seeds are planted, which means those seeds are harmful even to humans over times

Also speaking, National Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, 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.

Halidu stated that over time, most farmers across the country had continued to complain about the high cost of agrochemical products, especially fertilizers and pesticides as well as their adverse effects on humans and the environment.

He called on the federal government to reduce the emphasis on genetically modified crops and adopt local ways of crop production using natural resources to ensure food safety and a healthy 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.

The training was organized for smallholder farmers in fifteen states including Nasarawa, Oyo, Kano and Plateau to train them on how to produce organic fertilizer and pesticides using local materials.