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Crop Biotech Update

Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions Supports GM Crops in Africa

June 10, 2011

At the close of the annual policy conference of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) held in Vereeniging, South Africa, 14 national farmer's unions in Southern Africa and representatives from 14 countries including members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and AfricaBio have voiced their support to GM crops to ensure food security and alleviate poverty in the region.

"Following the fruitful discussions we will enlighten our members in the region on how best to communicate our policies to farmers and interact with governments to endorse biotechnology. We will also work closely with COMESA, SADC and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa to achieve the best results," said Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU.

Analysis by some of the attendees pointed out the lack of enabling policies that will allow more smallholder farmers in many countries to enjoy the benefits of biotechnology. Countries were therefore urged to develop national biosafety frameworks and best policy practices which should be based on sound science and current global experience of modern biotechnology.

The news release can be viewed at  http://www.sacau.org/