The ability of GM crops to increase yields and reduce input use is well established. Based on food security needs, Africa possibly stands to benefit the most from green biotechnology given the low agricultural productivity especially among smallholder farmers and the looming food crises in most urban areas. However, the adoption of GM crops in Africa has been slow and limited to a handful of countries owing to a variety of reason and by relatively under-developed seed sectors. The primary objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current state and future potential of GM crops in Africa in a way that informs public policy and private strategy. The barriers and enablers of GM acceptance will be evaluated within the context of seed sector development. Through a comprehensive survey of seed companies operating in Africa, attitudes and strategies towards transgenics will be accessed. The research will analyze the scientific evidence about the role of international trade, bio-safety and IPR frameworks in fostering or hindering the adoption of GM crops. The analysis will be based on both cross sectional data (comparing African countries that have adopted GM crops versus similar countries that have not)and time series data (comparing performance data before and after adoption of GM crops). The research findings will answer if, when and how GM crops can help feed Africa. The intended audience for this research project is fourfold – African governments, private seed companies, development organizations and United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization(FAO).
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