Biotech Updates

Case Studies Reveal Keys to Sustainable Seed Access in Eastern Africa

June 7, 2023

Michigan State University researchers and partners reviewed the sustainable access to quality seeds of genetically engineered Bt cotton in Eastern Africa and recommended improved public-private partnerships. Their review article is published in the journal GM Crops and Food.

Genetically engineered Bt cotton varieties contribute solutions to challenges in crop losses and productivity. In Eastern Africa, Bt cotton has been commercially approved in Sudan (2012), Ethiopia (2018), and Kenya (2019), and the region has the potential to grow over 5 million hectares of cotton. The seeds planted were sourced from India, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions impeded farmers' access to these seeds. Thus, stakeholders are looking for local sources of seeds to ensure sustainable access and affordable cost.

Case studies highlighted that capacity building in local seed production and extension advisory services is crucial. They also concluded that enhanced public-private partnerships are necessary for sustainable seed access in the region.

Read the open-access article in GM Crops and Food.

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