Prospects for Development of Genetically Modified Cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract or Summary

The prospect for the development of genetically modified (GM)
orphan crops is reviewed from various perspectives. The article
specifically assesses the potential constraints for developing
GM cassava based on typical patterns of past genetic modification
technology application on crops, the low level of basic
research that has been done on cassava, African stakeholders’
perceptions on GM crops in general, and regulation issues for
cassava. The article also assesses potential factors that might
mitigate such constraints, such as the potential benefits of
genetic modification technology in overcoming particular problems
for cassava over conventional non-genetic modification
technologies, the level of interest among African countries on
such benefits, and the preferential treatment given to crops like
cassava (such as humanitarian use licenses). The article concludes
with a discussion of prospects for GM cassava and some
knowledge gaps that need to be filled to speed up the commercialization of GM cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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