Agriculture

African farmers are leaders in adopting GMOs

Proponents of agricultural biotechnology have argued against the adoption of GMOs in industrialized countries. Much of this opposition has also focused on agriculture in developing regions, specifically in Africa.

One of the most popular counter-arguments has been that GMOs would take African farmers out of the market – of course, an ingenious way to slow down innovation without causing accusations that it is hindering the growth of even the people for whom they have expressed concern. Another more controversial argument was that farmers in these nations have a lower capacity to mechanize production. Again, these opponents of innovation have erred in undermining this category of farmers.

While low-income farmers often can’t afford new innovations, such as modern tractors that certainly improve farm productivity, they certainly can’t afford them. they can afford improved seeds. For them, the importance is the feature of the new culture and not the method by which it would be produced. Likewise, planting the seeds themselves, although improved, does not show any major performance even for the small-scale novice farmer.

For this reason, farmers in developing countries are currently planting More improved seeds of biotechnology than industrial nations. Moreover, despite continued efforts to discourage them, farmers in Africa are now leaders in the global GMO race. Here’s how:

1. They are a major source of dynamism in improved agriculture

After identifying the need for capital and new technologies in agriculture, both large-scale farmers and small farmers in Kenya have taken on the responsibility to reduce this gap. At present, farmers’ groups are organized into regional groups, each of which then concludes a win-win arrangement with global land investors.

Usually, these agreements have two main conditions: investors rent the land from farmers for a certain period of time, as well as to reap the full profit from the harvest; Instead, farmers, who offer management services at no extra cost to investors, are taught how to make the best use of new technology to produce new crops.

african-culture-wheat
African woman researches wheat crop (Picture by Darren Baker, Shutterstock)

The international press, of course, hastened to highlight this arrangement as a mega trend of land grabbing by foreign investors. But Kimani Wanjoki and other local farmers in Nakuru believe that this is a “… tool for changing international perceptions of how agricultural development should take place in Africa.”

Their steps are evidence that farmers in the region are already embracing new agricultural methodologies and systems. These results give the country an opportunity to advance in other diverse fields of agriculture much earlier than their counterparts in developed countries.

2. I am a leading voice of GM activism

The first march of African farmers took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. Since then, farmers across the continent have Come out in significant numbers to speak in support of their position in the GM debate.

For more information on the position of farmers on genetically modified techniques, I contacted Padma Priya, a researcher in indigenous cultures in Pretoria, South Africa. She shared that most farmers in the country believe that the slow adoption of agricultural progress has left them vulnerable. They believe that the adoption of genetically modified techniques “holds the key to improving the nation’s agricultural health”.

Similar positions against GM’s opposition arguments have also led to review of biosecurity documents in Kenya, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Uganda and Nigeria.

The difference between these farmers and the rest of the world tangled in the MG debate is that in addition to choosing to believe what the media portrays, are willing to question these claims. In reality, those who are willing to push against the wire can more easily develop a better understanding and therefore a better ability. to learn and advance faster.

3. Try new GM crops first

In another big gain for GM agriculture in Africa, Kenyan farmers are now the first globally to produce genetically modified cassava. According to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the improved crop is both resistant to cassava brown disease and has already had high yields.

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A Cassava Harvest in Kenya (Simple Image, Shutterstock)

Farmers in South Africa were also not alone the first to produce insect-resistant corn and cotton in 1997 and 1998, but they were also the first to sell their products globally. The country’s consistently improved yields have led to a high rate of redemption of these biotechnology-enhanced seeds among other farmers on the continent.

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Finally, farmers in Africa are leading the way in the GMO race because they have managed to surpass yields. The dedication to which he applies his desire to increase farm productivity is spreading beyond the farm and can reach other farmers on the continent.

In my opinion, people who are critical of current approaches to agriculture or how they can be adopted will always miss the idea. Not only will they remain open to deception about science, but they will eventually be exposed to the risk of being perpetually derogated from because of it. If there is one thing African farmers have to say about GMOs, it is that they can be used safely to solve social problems and then inspire collective success.


Michelle Miller, Farm Babe, is a farmer, public speaker and writer who has worked for years with common crops, beef cattle and sheep. She believes that education is key to bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

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