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Friday, July 31, 2015

Makinde advocates monitoring of biotech development in Africa


The Director, African Biotech Network of Expertise (ABNE), Professor Diran Makinde, has posited that African countries should have reliable systems to monitor developments in biotechnology to ensure successes in health, food security, biodiversity and trade, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The Dr. Makinde said that in the face of opposition and activism, evidence based decisions is germane to sustain the tempo in public awareness on the safety of  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) adding that what Africa needs to do is monitor local seed companies so that seeds are not adulterated.

He took this position at the three-day biotechnology short course organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) agency Africa Biosafety Network of Expertise in collaboration with University of Ghana (UG) Legon, and Michigan State University (MSU).

The course, NaijaAgroNet gathered, seeks to provide a platform that would empower key stakeholders within the Biosafety systems in Ghana and Nigeria with current information on safe management of modern biotechnology to enable them effectively support regulatory process.

Expert pointed out that with 65 per cent of Africa's labour workforce employed by agriculture coupled with aging farmers, climate change, drought and famine and the youth shunning agriculture, Biotech stands to optimize productivity and contribute to food, feed and fiber security.

NaijaAgroNet further reports that Biotechnology is the use of living organisms to produce a product or service such as tools of tissue culture, molecular characterization for identification purposes in plant breeding, diagnostics, fermentation and genetic engineering.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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