The Biotechnology Revolution and its Implications for Food Security in Africa

"Agricultural biotechnology presents many opportunities and challenges to Africa. Biotechnology promises to help meet food security needs, reverse declining per capita food production and improve the incomes and lives of farmers in Africa. However, the limited international markets for agricultural products, especially GMOs, the complex regulatory regimes, the weak scientific base, lack of biotechnology development strategies and investment, and poor science and technology diplomacy skills, among others, are threatening to limit the impact of biotechnology. This paper addresses a number of these issues from an African perspective and seeks to bring out alternative models that Africa could adopt to realize the maximum benefits. It draws lessons for other countries, sectors and past agricultural initiatives to illustrate ways of meeting the different challenges under the current public debate on safety and developing regulatory regimes."