African Perspectives on Genetically Modified Crops

| August 3, 2017

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The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to boost agricultural productivity is often touted in Washington policy circles as a potentially powerful tool for boosting agricultural productivity and reducing food insecurity in Africa. That confidence has not been shared by African governments, many of whom remain wary of transgenic technologies. The Green Revolution in agriculture passed largely unnoticed in Africa. While in Asia and Latin America the introduction of improved crop varieties and the application of scientific farming methods enabled food production to outstrip population growth, in Africa agricultural productivity actually declined. On a per capita basis, Africa’s farms produced almost a fifth less in 2005 than they did in 1970.1 Africa currently imports a quarter of its food, even though 70 percent of its people are engaged in agriculture.

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