Africa 'Resistant to GMOs Because of Relationship with EU'
News Oct 02, 2009
A delegation of African farmers met with EU policymakers this week in Brussels to discuss the role of biotechnology in tackling the food crisis. Their meetings come amid concern over how climate change, drought and population increases will impact Africa's ability to feed its population.
Motlatsi Everest Musi, a small-scale maize farmer in South Africa, has been cultivating genetically modified Bt-maize since 2005. He told reporters at a EuropaBio event on Wednesday that growing the technology had boosted his profits and enabled him to expand his business.
Musi said he had come to Brussels "to share my experience and to send a message to Europeans that Africa seems to be reluctant to grow genetically modified seeds because they don't want to lose their relationship with Europe". "They doubt whether GM technology is safe because Europe has developed this 'go-slow' approach and that is impacting negatively on the continent," he said.
Musi, who acquired 21 hectares of land through South Africa's land redistribution for agricultural development programme in 2004, said his yield had increased by 34 per cent after switching to Bt-maize.