Biotech Updates

Strict Biosafety Law Stalls GM Maize Trials in Tanzania

March 4, 2011

Tanzania is still left behind by other East African countries in planting genetically modified (GM) maize. According to Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project country coordinator Alois Kullaya, the primary reason for this is the strict biosafety law implemented in the country.

"We have had successful mock trials since 2009, but we failed to move to the next step last August because the government did not grant us a permit," said Kullaya. He also said that it is about time for the Tanzanian government to use less restrictive national biosafety regulations or else the country would loose the benefits of biotechnology.

"If all goes well, we are planning to conduct the trials this year, once we obtain the permit from the National Bio-safety Committee," said Dr. Kullaya, who is also a principal agricultural research officer at Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute.

For more details, visit