The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in order to enhance food safety in the country which is one of the major agenda of the present administration.
Mohammed Bello Umar, permanent secretary in the Ministry, signed the MoU on behalf of FMARD recently in Abuja.
Umar emphasized the need for the interagency collaboration saying that the Federal Government is determined to diversifying the economy to the non- oil revenue generating sectors in which agriculture is one of the key sectors which the present administration is focusing in ensuring food safety for it teaming population.
‘’There is urgent need for improvement of the output of agricultural commodities as this can be achieved with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),” he said.
He raised concerns on the potential risks and threats associated with the use of GMOs, while stressing the need for relevant stakeholders to minimize the threat and ensure that the gene of insert is considered safe for consumption.
Umar stated that FMARD is the competent authority for the certification of animals for import and export purposes, saying that the Agric Ministry will make it a prerequisite to issue import permit for only GMOs of animal origin whose gene of insert has been certified safe by NBMA.
Earlier in his remarks Rufus Ebegbe, director general, NBMA said there was need for an interagency collaboration between the Ministry and his agency in order to have one body that will achieve main objectives of the federal government on food sufficiency and safety.