Southern African Agricultural Stakeholders Discuss GMOs in Agricultural Development
Close to a hundred stakeholders representing farmers, food security experts, seed traders, researchers, development agencies and regulators convened at Vereeniging, South Africa to deliberate various papers at the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) Policy Conference on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Agricultural Development – a perspective of farmers in Southern Africa. Topics covered included GMOs in the context of biotech in agriculture; pro-GMO and anti-GMO perspectives; market access/trade issues; consumer perspectives; existing policy frameworks; and, recent technological advances in the area.
Key outcomes of the conference included a statement by farmers endorsing the use of GM technology as an option for farmers, and not as a panacea to agricultural development.
Kevin Kabunda, Private Sector Engagement Specialist, and Nelson Chisenga, Agricultural Trade Economist, represented SATH. The conference was used as a platform to create networks and build consensus for a deliberate mechanism for producers to state their case on choices for increasing their productivity.