Failure to use biotechnology hurting farmers, says report

A farm worker in a maize plantation at Wambugu farm in Nyeri on May 19, 2014. Maize yields are bound to increase if the farmers embrace the use of biotechnological technology. PHOTO| JOSEPH KANYI

What you need to know:

  • Only three out of the 28 countries that grew biotech crops in 2015 were from Africa.
  • Between 1996 and 2015, biotech maize was successfully grown globally in 15 countries on 600 million hectares, bringing to the farmers an estimated USD50 billion in revenues.
  • Climate change effects call for urgent measures to accelerate access to drought tolerant crops such as Water Efficient Maize for Africa.

Farmers are missing out on opportunities to integrate proven cutting edge biotechnology tools that would boost yields and mitigate the impact of climate change, a new report says.

According to the report released by the International Services for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) on the global status of commercialised biotech crops, only three out of the 28 countries that grew biotech crops in 2015 were from Africa.

A farmer admires his healthy maize crops in Mathira, Nyeri County. PHOTO | ROBERT KANYI

It says between 1996 and 2015, biotech maize was successfully grown globally in 15 countries on 600 million hectares, bringing to the farmers an estimated USD50 billion in revenues.

Releasing the report this week, ISAAA director Dr Margaret Karembu said climate change impacts such as increased prevalence of drought call for urgent measures to accelerate access to drought tolerant crops such as Water Efficient Maize for Africa.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.