Governing agricultural biotechnology in Africa: building public confidence and capacity for policy-making

Governing agricultural biotechnology in Africa: building public confidence and capacity for policy-making

Overcoming barriers in developing agricultural biotechnology in Africa

This book provides an overview of the potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology in Africa in the context of continuous poor agricultural production and rising food insecurity. The authors draw on research on biotechnology and biosafety policy in three African countries: Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

Growing food insecurity in the region has stimulated attention to genetic engineering, particularly regarding the potential benefits and risks of genetically modified crops. The publication states that according to the FAO, agricultural production is estimated to fall more drastically in Eastern and Southern Africa in the coming years.

The authors discuss that countries in the region need to implement policies to reduce uncertainty and misunderstanding of the benefits and risks of GM products, which include developing platforms for participatory decision-making and increased investment in scientific development.

This book recommends a number of actions to build public confidence and scientific capacity and puts emphasis on actions that will:

  • improve public confidence in and understanding of biotechnology
  • strengthen national science institutions
  • mobilise and build expertise in new scientific fields of biotechnology
  • encourage and strengthen partnerships between public R&D institutions and private biotechnology companies.
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