Swaziland Agri Director Expresses Support to Amend the Biosafety LawMay 25, 2016
Swaziland director for agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Nelson Mavuso, has urged members of parliament to fast-track the proposed amendment to the country's biosafety law. Speaking at a recent awareness seminar on biotechnology and biosafety for members of parliament, Mr. Mavuso urged MPs to consider revising the liability clause in the Biosafety Act 2012 to make it easier for investors and researchers move to open field trials with insect resistant (Bt) cotton.
The meeting was organized by the Swaziland Cotton Board in partnership with the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA/ COMESA) and other partners. It was addressed by scientists from the cotton board who lamented the decline of cotton production in the country. "Insect damage has become a disincentive to cultivate conventional cotton for our farmers," said Daniel Khumalo, Swaziland's Cotton Board Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Khumalo informed participants that the government had identified GM cotton as a strategic tool to revive the country's cotton industry and to meet the ginnery throughput of 25,000 metric tons. "We have tested Bt cotton and organized farmer field days. The crop has the potential to respond to challenges facing the industry at the moment. However, we could not proceed to open field trials due to the liability clause in the current Biosafety Act," said Mr. Khumalo.
Participants at the meeting visited GM crop farm in neighboring South Africa and interacted with farmers in Limpopo province, Northern South Africa. One of the cotton farmers in the region expressed his satisfaction with GM crops, "Before the introduction of GM crops, I could not expand my fields. When Bt cotton was introduced I started expanding my fields from 6 hectares to 150 hectares in just 15 years." He advocated for the use Bt cotton terming it the best crop to plant in dry lands. Another biotech crop farmer, Jordan Pheeney revealed that he managed to take home a fair harvest despite the drought that lasted throughout the year, thanks to biotech maize. "I will never use conventional seeds," said Mr. Pheeney.
For more information on the meeting, contact Dr. Getachew Belay, the Senior Biotechnology Policy Advisor at ACTESA/COMESA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Scientists Investigate GM Food Awareness in Enugu, Nigeria
- Malawi's Seed Sector Calls on Govt to Adopt GM Crops
- Swaziland Agri Director Expresses Support to Amend the Biosafety Law
- Chance Finding in Guelph Study Could Transform Future of Plant Production
- Salk Institute Scientists Map Landscape of Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation in Plants
- University Illinois Scientist Identifies Mechanism for Herbicide Resistance in Palmer Amaranth
- Biologists Discover How Plants Reconstitute Stem Cells
- Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering Calls for Resumption of Bt Eggplant Research
- The Royal Society Releases Guide on GM Plants
- Scientists Battle to Stem Onslaught of Pseudoscience in Europe
- British Crop Protection Council Challenges Green Alliance's Opposition to Glyphosate and GM Crops
- WRKY Genes from Wheat Confer Drought and Heat Resistance in Arabidopsis
- GmSAMT1 Overexpression in Soybean Confers Resistance to Soybean Cyst Nematode Races
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Researchers Develop Cell Labeling via Photobleaching Tagging Method
- Soluble Expression of Spike Protein of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus in E. coli
Subscribe to CBU: