Malawi RABSAC Policy Brief

"Many developing countries, and particularly African countries, are at crossroads on making a decision regarding biotechnology and more specifically agricultural biotechnology and related products like genetically modified (GM) crops. The pace at which SADC countries are engaging in modern agricultural biotechnology is a cautious and precautionary one. This is partly caused by a lag in their own biosafety internal policy and regulatory capacities as well as a fear of losing international export markets if GM crops are adopted or accepted. Conversely, the opportunity cost of not adopting GM crops might be high for the SADC countries. Impressive GM crop adoption rates in South Africa suggest that large- and small-scale African farmers can benefit from GM crops. The potential income gains associated with the first wave of technologies are significant and countries with a moratorium on GM crop imports also stand to loose out on much needed emergency food aid from organisations like the World Food Programme."