In a bid to revive and reposition the ailing textile mills across the country, the Federal Government through the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has announced that it would soon commercialise Biotechnology [Bt] cotton to ensure adequate supply of cotton to the mills.
Prof. Alex Casmir Akpa, Acting Director General of NABDA, revealed this in Abuja yesterday when he received a civil society group, Real Life Global Humanitarian Foundation led by its National Coordinator, Mr. Akinsola Akinsoji on a courtesy visit to his office.
Akpa pointed out that the closure of many textile mills across the country was occasioned by inadequate supply of cotton.
He expressed optimism that with the commercialisation of Bt cotton, many moribund textile mills would bounce back to life.
According to him, “Cotton is one of the major things required in the textile industry.
“Most of our textile mills today are moribund or dead completely due to inadequate supply of cotton.
“But with the introduction of Bt cotton into the market, it would enable textile companies to bounce back. There will be adequate supply of cotton to the mills .
“Farmers will be adequately engaged, more jobs will be created across the country.”
He further revealed that field trials of the Bt cotton have been concluded, adding that after the meeting a committee, the Bt cotton would be released to the market in a few months’ time.
Commenting on the negative information being peddled by anti-GMO groups, Akpa said the groups were sponsored by foreigners who do not want Nigeria to be self-sufficient in food production.
“They use gimmicks to suppress us so that we will continue to patronise and service their industries. They want us to be food dependent.
“How do you explain this scenario where somebody tells you that GM crops are bad but at the same time encourages you to take vaccines?
“Vaccination and GM use the same technology. It is the same technology that is used in the production of vaccines that is also used in the production of GMOs,” he argued.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of Real Life Global Humanitarian Foundation said the group had decided to propagate the importance of biotechnology to the length and breadth of Nigeria.
Akinsoji said agricultural biotechnology is the way to go to guarantee food security and self-sufficiency in food production.
He warned that the increasing population in the country, with less production of food, poses a grave danger to national security.
He, however, called on all Nigerians to embrace biotechnology and remove the apprehension associated with the use and consumption of GM crops.