Plant technologies will keep millions of Africans fed and healthy. The use of GM will not only release the talent of 70 per cent of the population locked up in inefficient agricultural quests but will also lead to higher food production, lower food prices and weaning from food aid dependency. Recognizing this fact, Heads of State at the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa early this year, endorsed a 20-year bio-technology action plan calling for cooperation among States in specific regions to bolster biotechnology research and address bio-safety concerns. It is hope that this action is not mere rhetoric.
US farmers who produce two-thirds of the world’s biotech crops save an estimated $216 million annually on weed control costs and make $19 million less in herbicide applications every year. Using non –till methods made possible by herbicide resistant soybeans, farmers prevent 247 million tons of topsoil from being eroded.,,,
The President of AfricaBio, Prof Diran Makinde, who is also working with New Partnership for African Development however feels that "the reason no GM crops are being grown in Africa is because various countries are still in the process of formulating regulatory procedures to legalize the production of GM crops."
The EU, which has been involved in protracted battles with the US over GM foods is slowly softening its stand, according to the International Agro Biotechnology Research Specialist, Willy de Greef. He says that the EU is no longer opposed to the development of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Six EU countries are currently planting GM crops, with several more hoping to start soon. Spain is leading the way with 60,000 hectares already planted. France, Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany and Slovakia, have also increased their acreages fivefold in 2006, from 1,500 hectares in 2005 to 8,500 hectares in 2006.
Africa should approach and embrace GM technology from an informed perspective.//
Summary: African governments by listening to conservative Europeans are prevented from using the latest technology, which could benefit millions. US farmers are already using it.
One issue in my area is that Belgian onions, which are grown in areas with fewer pests (due to winter killing insects) and harvested by machine can under price local onions.
However, there are problems with the crops. The best way is to allow local entrepeneurs start small farms of the crops, the way we do here with the help of the government, for our rice and vegetables, to start new hybrids and crop raising methods.