Tanzanian Farmers Urge Gov't to Hasten Delivery of GE CropsJune 7, 2017
Farmers in Mwanza Province, North Eastern Tanzania have urged their government to hasten delivery of biotech crops, which they say, may save them from crop failure. The maize, cassava, and cotton farmers whose crop has been severely affected by stalk borer pests, cassava mosaic disease and African cotton bollworm respectively, said that they had applied chemical and cultural control methods against the pests and diseases with little success over the years.
Mr. Chongo Ngundamira, a farmer from Buchosa District in the area pointed high cost of inputs to control pest and disease have decreased production capacity. "We have heard that scientists are working on biotech maize, cassava and cotton that will need less spraying as the crops are self-protected against pests and diseases. We urge the government to hasten delivery of these crops as they will help us save on cost of production and eliminate crop failure," said Mr. Chongo. He added that in the current circumstances, the farmers face perennial food shortages as a result of the challenges, yet theirs is a productive land.
The farmers expressed their sentiments when journalists, scientists, and Tanzanian Government officials visited their farms during a media training in Mwanza, which was held on May 29-31, 2017. The training had been organized by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB-Tanzania), to engage journalists and scientists and enhance their cooperation in a bid to ensure accurate, fact-based and balanced agri-biotech reporting.
"We are tirelessly working to ensure that farmers get the GE pest and disease resistant crops as soon as possible, and urge the government to continue providing an enabling policy environment," assured Dr. Nicholas Nyange, a researcher at Tanzania Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTECH). Mrs. Laurancia Mulalo, a Principal Agricultural Field Officer in the area said that they were working closely with farmers to ensure harvest, despite the biotic challenges they are facing, coupled with recurring droughts.
Dr. Alois Kulaya, the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Tanzania Project Lead, challenged journalists to move together with scientists through development of agricultural biotechnology products to ensure proper and credible information sharing. The sentiments were echoed by Mr. Daniel Otunge, Program Manager for OFAB-Africa at African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), who urged journalists to observe responsibility in biotechnology reporting even as they attempt to balance their stories.
For more information, contact Philbert Nyinondi, Coordinator of OFAB-Tanzania, at email@example.com.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-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
- Report Shows 20 Years of Economic and Environmental Benefits from Biotech/GM Crops
- Public Learns about Biotech for Climate Smart Agriculture at World Environment Day Commemoration in Uganda
- Tanzanian Farmers Urge Gov't to Hasten Delivery of GE Crops
- Salk Scientists Help Plants Pump Iron Using Gene Variants
- Taking the Initial Step Towards Dev't of Epigenetically Modified Cotton
- Current Advances in Genome Editing Technology and its Application in Crop Improvement
- Australia's OGTR Receives License Application for Commercial Release of GM DHA Canola
- Australia's Gene Technology Regulator Shares Regulatory Practices with Vietnam
- India's National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Endorses Commercial Release of GM Mustard
- Scientists Discover Plant 'Brain' Controlling Seed Development
- EFSA Reiterates Previous Risk Assessment Conclusion on NK603 Valid and Applicable
- SbNrat1 Gene in Sorghum Functions for Aluminum Tolerance
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Development of Gene-Specific Rice Mutants via AvrXa23-based TALENs
- Nagoya University Develops Highly Efficient CRISPR-Cas9 Vector for Arabidopsis
- Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology Course
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (August 17, 2022)
- Genome Editing Supplement (August 10, 2022)
- Gene Drive Supplement (July 27, 2022)
Subscribe to CBU: