Biotech Updates

USDA FAS Reports Promising Results of GE Corn Field Trials in Mozambique

April 3, 2019

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information Network (USDA FAS-GAIN) released their report on Mozambique's agricultural biotechnology sector status for 2018. It highlights the initial results of the Mozambican Agricultural Research Institute's genetically engineered (GE) corn confined field trials. The trials are set to be done in two stages. With the first stage completed, data gathered after two planting seasons showed that the GE corn was effective against the spotted stem borer/stalk borer and also the fall armyworm. The second stage is set to be conducted without irrigation to test the GE corn's resistance to drought. The GE corn trials are part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) program, a public-private partnership effort that aims to develop pest and drought tolerant corns using biotechnology and conventional breeding.

Another highlight of USDA FAS' report is the Mozambican government's acknowledgment of biotechnology's contribution to achieve the country's food and nutritional security, as well as the importance of the having appropriate regulations to support biotechnology research and development. Currently, the Gruppo Inster-Institutional Sobre Bio-Seguranca (GIBBS) is tasked to serve as the National Biosafety Committee. The committee regularly meets with public and private sector representatives to coordinate biosafety activities in Mozambique, and to update regulations pertaining to the research and development of GE crops.

Read the full report to know more.