The African Union wants to adopt genetically modified crops

The African Union is developing guidelines for the use of genetically modified crops on the continent, raising concerns among activists who are campaigning against their adoption.
Despite concerted efforts by donor-funded programs to expand the use of GM crops in Africa, they have so far not been widely adopted by the millions of small-scale farmers who form the backbone of the continent’s agricultural sector.
So far only seven countries – South Africa, Sudan, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Kenya – have approved the commercial production of GM crops, mainly insect-resistant cotton, the African Union (AU) wrote in a draft report on its proposed guidelines.
It said the guidelines are intended to protect consumers and countries from unintended consumption of genetically engineered products. “The controversy over food, feed and environmental safety that surrounds genetic engineering technology in particular makes the continental guidelines extremely important,” the draft AU report said.
GMO advocates hope the guidelines will improve crop yields and food security as farmers struggle with the effects of climate change. Without them, they say, Africa could struggle to feed a rapidly growing population that is expected to nearly double to 2.5 billion by 2050. The AU has not provided a timeline for the release of the guidelines, let alone details on the validation process for the guidelines.

About Geraldine Boechat 1735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia