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Africa’s food problems and Europe’s new position
Published on 13-07-2016 - at 02:55' by Daily Monitor

A lot has been going on in Europe beyond the much-debated Brexit. On June 7, the European Parliament adopted a report that calls on G7 countries not to support production of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in Africa.

A lot has been going on in Europe beyond the much-debated Brexit. On June 7, the European Parliament adopted a report that calls on G7 countries not to support production of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in Africa.

The report, presented by Mara Heubuch, a Member of European Parliament from Germany, also does not support large-scale farming for Africa.

Sadly, the decision was passed by a majority. This has raised questions about Europe’s understanding of Africa’s food security and poverty and efforts to address the challenges.

Food production has fallen behind population, which is projected to rise from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050. Due to climate change, Sub-Saharan Africa is host to pests that cannot be overcome with pesticides. So, major food crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize, rice and sorghum are threatened. There are more extreme weather conditions like droughts and floods, which hurt agricultural production.

To mitigate the challenges African governments have invested in biotechnology research to safeguard food crops and there are promising results.

There is no scientific evidence to prove GM crops are dangerous to human health or the environment.

Neither UN Food and Agriculture Organisation nor World Health Organisation has raised any safety concerns about GM technology. So, why will the EU not support GM/biotech crops in Africa?

Africa is striving to mechanise agriculture and abandon the hand hoe.Tractors are also used for large-scale agricultural production.

Where in Europe today does a man and woman toil with hand hoes to sustain their family on hardly a hectare? Yet, this is the common picture in poverty stricken Africa. If the EU is against large-scale farming for Africa, should we trust it as an ally in our struggle to boost agricultural productivity?


Kwamamaza
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