The Current and Future Situation of Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities
Currently, African agricultural production is both unsustainable and low. Yields are far below global averages and famine often threatens an ever-increasing population. In addition to deficient agricultural research investments, inappropriate technology delivery systems are responsible for the limited rate of innovation in African small-scale farming systems. Tissue culture and transgenic biotechnologies have great potential to improve the situation and to impact Africa’s food security and socioeconomic crisis. Because local research capacities are still underdeveloped, suitable biotechnologies have to be imported from abroad. This requires strengthened North-South, South-South, and public-private sector partnerships. Different ongoing projects with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and other organizations demonstrate that if biotechnology products are properly introduced in Africa, resource-poor farmers will likely be the main beneficiaries.
KeywordsAgricultural Biotechnology Biotechnology Application Future Situation African Farmer Sweet Potato Virus
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- FAO (1991): Biotechnology as a Means for Improving Agricultural Production in Kenya; An Experts Report and Proposed Plan of Action. In: A.M. Mailu, J.O. Mugah, and P.O. Fungoh (eds.). Proceedings of the National Conference on Plant and Animal Biotechnology. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairobi, pp. 271–286.Google Scholar
- ISAAA (1996): ISAAA Annual Report 1995; Shared Solutions to Shared Problems. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
- James, C. (1999): Global Status of Commercialized Transgenic Crops: 1999. ISAAA Briefs, No. 12, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
- James, C. (1998): Global Review of Commercialized Transgenic Crops: 1998. ISAAA Briefs, No. 8, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
- Krattiger, A.F., and A. Rosemarin. (eds.) (1994): Biosafety for Sustainable Agriculture; Sharing Biotechnology Regulatory Experiences of the Western Hemisphere. International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Stockholm Environment Institute, Ithaca, NY and Stockholm.Google Scholar
- Qaim, M. (1999a): Assessing the Impact of Banana Biotechnology in Kenya. ISAAA Briefs, No. 10, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
- Qaim, M. (1999b): The Economic Effects of Genetically Modified Orphan Commodities: Projections for Sweetpotato in Kenya. ISAAA Briefs, No. 13, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
- Thottapilly, G., L. Monti, D.R. Mohan Raj, and A.W. Moore. (eds.) (1992): Biotechnology: Enhancing Research on Tropical Crops in Africa. International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
- Wambugu, F.M. (1994): Three Year External and Internal Review: African Sweet Potato Virus Diseases Control and Biotechnology Transfer Project. Monsanto, United States Agency for International Development, University of Michigan, and University of Columbia Missouri, document available from Monsanto Company, Plant Science Depal Intent, St. Louis.Google Scholar