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Civil Society Coalition Embraces Genetically Modified Crops to Tackle Hunger and Poverty in Nigeria

Abuja, April 25, 2024 – In a significant gathering convened at the Avison Hotel Conference Hall in Garki, Abuja, the Coalition of Civil Society and Human Rights Organization of Nigeria made a resounding declaration in support of the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) crops in the country. The event, titled “Farmer for GM Crops,” served as a platform for the coalition to articulate its stance on the pivotal role of GMOs in enhancing food security and combating poverty, amidst ongoing debates surrounding their adoption.

Addressing members of the press, Comr Dandaura Takalis, National Chairman, Coalition of Civil Society and Human Rights Organization highlighted the groundbreaking potential of GMO crops to revolutionize Nigeria’s agricultural landscape, particularly in rural communities grappling with poverty and hunger. The recent approval of selected species of Cowpea and Maize by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s quest for enhanced agricultural productivity.

After conducting comprehensive research and consultations with experts in various fields, both domestically and internationally, the coalition expressed confidence in the safety and efficacy of GMO crops. They underscored the urgent need to address the country’s alarming poverty rates, citing statistics from the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that revealed a staggering 40.1% of Nigerians living in poverty and 63% experiencing multidimensional deprivation.

In alignment with Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger), the coalition emphasized the potential of GMO crops to accelerate progress towards these targets by increasing agricultural yields and productivity. They urged stakeholders to prioritize evidence-based approaches in discussions surrounding GMOs, dispelling misconceptions and unfounded concerns propagated by opposing factions.

Responding to claims raised by detractors, the coalition addressed various misconceptions surrounding GMO crops, including allegations of terminator genes and allergen risks. They emphasized the rigorous scientific testing and regulatory processes undertaken to ensure the safety of GMOs, reassuring the public of their suitability for consumption and cultivation.

Furthermore, the coalition refuted assertions linking GMOs to insecurity in Northeast Nigeria, asserting that such claims lacked empirical evidence and were driven by conspiracy theories rather than factual analysis. Drawing on their extensive experience in peace and security advocacy, the coalition reiterated their commitment to addressing the root causes of insecurity, including poverty, religious intolerance, and economic sabotage.

In conclusion, the coalition reaffirmed their endorsement of GMO crops as a viable solution to alleviate poverty and hunger in Nigeria. They called upon the media to play a proactive role in educating the public about the benefits of GMOs, emphasizing the need for informed discourse and evidence-based decision-making to advance national development goals.

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