By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja:
The Acting Director General of the Textile Manufacturers, an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Hamma Kwajafa, has called on the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) and Monsanto Agriculture Nigeria Ltd to engage Nigerian farmers in high level education on the management and cultivation of the Genetically Modified (GM) bt-cotton soon to be released into the market.
Kwajafa cited Burkina Faso, United States of America (USA), Brazil, India, Argentina and Greece, where the genetically modified Bt-cotton is commercially being cultivated and is a major source of revenue for those countries.
In a statement signed by him and made available to the media in Abuja over the weekend, he said the application submitted by the agricultural company which is for the consideration of environmental release and placing in market of genetically modified insect-protected (Bt) cotton in reviving the textile industry.
Underscoring the need for the revival of the cotton sub sector in the country, he said: “The textile industry in Nigeria is a strategic non-oil industry and the largest industry in the country after oil and agriculture.
“In addition, it is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Its potential is derived from it being located in Nigeria, a country blessed with abundant raw material potential and especially cotton and polyester chips (petrochemical). The industry has a high potential for added value generation from raw material to finished goods and is a major employer of urban and rural populations.”