National Cotton Association Okays Introduction of BT Cotton into Nigerian Market



…Says it will boost yield and quality of fiber

From: Babatunde Azeez, Abuja

The National President of National Cotton Association of Nigeria, Anibe Achimugu has given approval to the introduction of Biotechnology cotton into the Nigerian seed market.

Achimigu said BT technology is simply a way of assisting nature as human activities have in different ways and times stretched nature.

The association national president, who spoke during World Press Conference on the release of the hybrid variety of cotton into the local seed market, held in Abuja said the technology will boost the yield and quality of fiber while availing the textile industry world class quality fiber in good quantity.

He lauded the support of both the Minister of Agriculture and also that of Science and Technology for the BT technology, saying the breakthrough in cotton industry will have positive impacts on other agricultural products.

“The world press conference on BT cotton is a welcome development because of the intrinsic qualities, particular we talk about the yield and quality of the fiber itself. The textile industry will also get the quality of cotton they require as their source for primary production.

“If you understand the BT technology, you will understand it is just a simple way of assisting nature and we cannot say nature doesn’t need help. Our activities as human beings sometimes stretches nature, so the knowledge God has given us is to assist nature and that is what BT is all about and especially with cotton where you don’t even have to eat it.” Achimugu added.

He allayed the public fears as regards the safety of the technology saying it is mere rumor mongering, stressing that there was no record of harmful effects of BT technology on human beings and the environment.

He cited the example of Burkinafarso farmers, who earlier rejected the technology and are presently begging to have them back owing to better understanding of it application and economic advantages that comes with it.

According to him, with proper enlightenment of farmers on the right application of and cultivation of the improved verity of cotton, the yearly national output of Nigerian cotton will improve.

“Go and look at facts there is no proof of BT technology being harmful to human beings, or the environment for that matter.

“I think it is just fear mongering, if you do your research adequately you will find out that there is no need to fear BT technology.

“If you will ask particular about BT cotton, people will tell you they ran away form it, but today the are begging for BT cotton to come back. What happened in Burkinafarso’s case was the approach was wrong and the farmers relaxed, thinking BT cotton was a magic wand. It is not. You must still do the work and take care of your farm. But your advantage is that you are not spraying as much as you would with the conventional cotton. Six time for the conventional and maybe  twice for the BT cotton if you have to.” He noted.

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