The fight for access to agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria got a major boost last month when a coalition of farmers petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the country s Biosafety Bill. According to Nigeria’s People s Daily, farmers say the passage of the bill is a critical step in paving the way for the introduction of biotech crops that are resistant to drought and pests, and that could reduce the need for fertilizers and insecticides. Speaking on behalf of the farmers coalition, Alhaji Salmanu Abdullahi, president of the Cotton Ginners Association (CGA), urged the president to sign the bill into law to address food security challenges of a growing population.
Other members of the coalition include Hajiaya Larai Mohammed, a soybean farmer from Lapai in Niger state. Mohammed told Nigeria s Newsdiary that biotechnology could help draw more women into farming because it will ease the cumbersome traditional method of farming now employed by farmers, especially women.