GOVERNMENT TO ENGAGE ZAAB OVER NBB DRAFT POLICY
… “come we discuss so that we do the correct thing” ,correct procedure on the enactment of the Biosafety, Biotechnology policy will be followed with full consultation,says Mr. Nzovu.
By Alfonso Kasongo
Government has opened up to engage the Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB) on the issues surrounding the validation process and content of the new National Biosafety and Biotechnology draft policy.
Minister for Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu disclosed this when he keenly followed the explanation on matters raised regarding the new draft policy from ZAAB National Cordinator Mutinta Nketani.
Featuring on the Environment WhatsApp live interview tonight, Ms. Nketani highlighted the reasons why the Alliance has petitioned Republican President Hakainde Hichilema to halt the process.
And in his comments, Mr. Nzovu appealed to Ms. Nketani to meet the minister for further discussions.
Mr. Nzovu was delighted with the reasons that Ms. Nketani explained especially the possibility of introduction of live Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the Zambian agriculture and their adverse effects on the environment and human health.
Mr. Nzovu has since assured all the stakeholders that a correct procedure will be followed with full consultation.
” Excellent presentation, been keenly following. Please come we discuss so that we do the right thing. Thank you very much.I really appreciate this,” Minister Nzovu praised ZAAB.
Meanwhile Ms Nketani maintained that it will be very catastrophic to the country if it the he new national Biosafety and Biotechnology draft policy is effected in its current form.
She added that the new policy in its current state aims at promoting foreign influence on the Seed sector and once enacted, it will allow the introduction of live GMOs which will put Zambia’s indigenous seeds especially maize under great threats of extinction.
Ms. Nketani, however, fears that Zambia food sovereignty is under threat from Foreign multi-national seed companies.
ZAAB is a united network of concerned citizens,civil society groups and farmer based organisations, working together to strengthen the growing movement for agroecology and food sovereignty in Zambia.
It was initiated in 2010 when a number of civil society and farmer focused organisations came together to defend Zambia’s threatened NO GMO presidential declaration of 2002.
The civil society alliance continued to operate as a united advocacy network and grew in membership and scope of and in 2017,the network organisation was formalised and shortened its name to ZAAB in acknowledgment of the holistic existence and biodiversity as a living system, integral to all human life.