The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, NTMA, has expressed its approval for the introduction of genetically modified cotton into the country.
In a statement by its acting Director-General, Hamma Kwajaffa, the association said a timely introduction of genetically modified cotton, especially the Bt cotton variety, which has high resistance to pests, is capable of repositioning Nigeria’s moribund textile industry.
The association’s statement comes barely two days after several rights groups and faith-based organisations kicked against an attempt by Mosanto Agriculture Ltd, a supplier of agricultural products, to obtain approval for environmental introduction and commercial production of genetically modified cotton and maize from the National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA.
The groups’ concerns stemmed from their believe that any introduction of GM products portends grave consequences for the health and environmental safety of Nigerians.The groups also argued that the climate in Africa is not conducive for genetically modified cotton and any attempt to introduce it would fail.
But in its approval statement, the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association said the introduction of genetically modified cotton will not harm the environment and will benefit farmers and improve textile quality in the country.