Improving Crop Productivity and Ensuring Food Security through the Adoption of Genetically Modified Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract or Summary

The food security challenge is one of the most topical issues of the 21st Century. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the least food-secure region, and solutions are constantly being sought to alleviate the problem. The region’s exponentially growing population is in dire need of affordable and nutritious food. The “Gene Revolution” (genetic engineering) presents opportunities in which food security can be ensured in SSA. Genetic modification (GM) has potential to solve myriad problems currently being experienced in SSA agriculture, hence improving yields and reducing the costs of production. Most of the SSA countries have a precautionary stance towards GM crops; thus, only a handful of countries have approved the commercialized production of transgenic crops. The lack of understanding and sound knowledge about the GM system is reflected in the formulation of policies and regulatory frameworks for biosafety and their implementation. There is need to conscientize the policymakers and the public about the general principles of genetic engineering for better decision making. Considering the multiple beneficial aspects demonstrated by transgenic crops it will not be prudent to ignore them. The versatility of GM technology makes it adaptable to the food crisis in SSA.

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