- ‘Fewer crops’ now feeding the world
- Uncertainty hampering food security
- Can science help improve food security?
Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector needs to harvest the fruits of biotechnology in order to establish sustainable development, says a report.
A key challenge is to attract funding for biotechnology projects on staple crops, such as cassava, it added.
These crops were often ignored by commercial funders because they had a limited market, the authors suggested.
Africa missed out on the previous green revolution that boosted food output in many Asian and Latin American nations.
The report, On Trial: GM Crops in Africa, published by think tank Chatham House, said: “Increasing agricultural productivity and adapting farming to climate change are central to Africa’s development prospects.”
It added that there were opportunities to boost yields and increase resilience by improving existing crop varieties, and that “in some cases, biotechnology, and in particular genetic modification (GM), offers advantages over conventional plant-breeding approaches”, such as drought, pest and disease resistance.