Monsanto, GMOs, And Nigeria’s Bleak Future By Saatah Nubari

I never knew anything about GMOs (Genetically
Modified Organisms) or Monsanto (A Multi-
National chemical and agricultural
biotechnology corporation) before now, until I
mistakenly and thankfully came across an
article by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour. This article
might be a very lengthy and boring read, but if
you are interested in Nigeria as I am, and if you
don’t want to wake up in 2022 hearing news
akin to our ceding of Bakassi peninsula to
Cameroon, then make sure you read it all the
way to the end.
First of all, I would love to thank Gbadebo
Rhodes-Vivour for putting down that piece that
has drawn my attention, to what seems to be a
grave mistake which might turn deadly if we
(Our Minister for Agriculture and the FG)
continue on this track.
GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms and
Monsanto is a major player in GMO
manufacturing. They claim to produce seeds
that are drought resistant, weed resistant, pest
resistant and also high yielding. These claims
most often than not have been proved to be
false, and being a company whose sole aim is
to make profit by any means necessary, we’re
often deceived to believe that Genetically
Engineered seeds are the way to go in our quest
for increased food production, job creation and
poverty reduction.
Our country Nigeria just became a member of
the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
Initiative, an organisation created by the US
and the G8, probably for their benefit and not
ours. As usual, it promises to create jobs,
reduce poverty and increase food productions.
The sole aim of this alliance is to coerce African
countries to change policies that will hinder the
operation of companies like Monsanto in
exchange for aid money.
The thing I want you to know about allowing
GMO, Monsanto and other of such big
organisations into Nigeria is that, the loss far
outweighs the gain. These multinational
companies will seek government to change land
and seed laws to favour them (already in
progress or might have finished the process).
This gives them control of our lands and what
we choose to plant. Farmers will be forced to
buy their seeds instead of being allowed to use
the natural seeds. The eye catching thing about
these Monsanto seeds is that they have been
genetically altered to be sterile, that is they
can’t be replanted.
So just imagine that a farmer buys genetically
modified seeds from Monsanto, plants them,
harvests, and can’t plant part of his harvest. If
these harvests are sterile enough not to be
planted, how then is it that they are good
enough for our consumption? That’s a question
you should ponder on. This cycle of dependence
continues, and with Monsanto controlling the
price of seeds, our farmers have no other choice
than to continue in this modern form of slavery,
since they can no longer plant natural seeds.
The seeds been sterile are an understatement of
some sort, because apart from that, they alter
the composition of the soil, so in the end,
farmers must continue to buy seeds from these
companies in other to plant, because the soil
can no longer accommodate natural seeds. With
poor yield and more of their income being spent
on pesticides which coincidentally are also been
manufactured and sold by these companies, the
farmers get into big debts that they can’t pay
off, while these strong pesticides and herbicides
find a way to the soil, rendering it useless and
polluting our groundwater in the process. These
are the same farmers they claim to be so eager
to help. About 250,000 Indian farmers have
committed suicide since Monsanto and their
genetically engineered crops were allowed into
the Indian Agricultural industry. Although the
company has debunked these claims, and also
added that their company or product has
nothing to do with the increased farmer
suicides, so many reports claim otherwise.
As Kwame Nkrumah said in his book Neo-
Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism; “the
result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital
is used for the exploitation rather than for the
development of the less developed parts of the
world. Investment, under neo-colonialism,
increases, rather than decreases, the gap
between the rich and poor countries of the
world.” This seems to be the best way to
describe the policies of the major world powers
when it comes to Africa.
By allowing Monsanto and her likes to force
their seeds on us Nigerians, we would have sold
out our most important right yet, which is our
right to life. We would have been fooled by the
G8 whose member nations have placed bans on
genetically engineered seeds. By giving
Monsanto and her likes control of what we
plant, we’ve have also given them control over
what we eat and our lives will forever be at risk
in their capitalistic hands. It is ok to be
underdeveloped, but right now, the FG and our
Hon Minister for Agriculture is making us look
stupid in the eyes of the world.
I’ve tried every means to get people interested
in what we stand to lose if we don’t fight this
Monsanto and their genetically engineered seeds
now, and only two people have shown interest
in how dire and urgent the situation is. Thanks
to Mark Amaza who encouraged me to write
this piece to bring awareness to this fight and
last but not the least, King Duoye Alfred who
apart from making contacts to help with this
fight exclaimed “Monsanto again…I’ll read but
seeing Monsanto is enough for me” when I sent
him the link to Gbadebo Rhodes-viours’s
article.

Saatah Nubari is on twitter @Saatah

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