Nigeria has not adopted Genetically Modified Organisms GMOs, or genetic technology in agriculture and food production. Chief AuduOgbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the clarification in Abuja.
The Minister said although genetic modifications had been taking place in America, Nigeria was yet to adopt the technology.
He said the government was, however, repositioning its research institutes and universities of agriculture to conduct research on how to boost agricultural production and attain food security.
Chief Ogbeh expressed concern over the ageing farming population in the country, which was why the Federal Government had been encouraging youths as well as women to engage in agriculture.
On the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support, GES, scheme, the minister said that the thirty billion naira, which the government owed agro-dealers, would soon be settled.
Describing the scheme as a good initiative, Chief Ogbeh, however noted that it was marred by corruption and abuses by the dealers.
He stated that claims for seeds alone in the GES scheme totaled over nine billion naira.
The minister said that the government was restructuring the Bank of Agriculture, BOA to ensure the reduction of interest rates on loans to seven per cent. According to him, if this happens, the GES scheme will no longer be necessary.