Title: Agricultural biotechnology development challenges in Africa: lessons from Ethiopia

Authors: Woldeyesus Sinebo; Kazuo N. Watanabe; Endale Gebre

Addresses: United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Yokohama, 220-0012, Japan; Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Southern Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 06, Hawassa, Ethiopia ' Gene Research Center, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan; International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), Rome, Italy ' Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Abstract: Developing countries in Africa such as Ethiopia need to transition from subsistence to modern agriculture through adopting an array of technologies including genetically modified (GM) crops. However, progress in testing and adoption of GM crops in Ethiopia is hindered by prohibitive biosafety law issued in 2009 and by lack of clear guidelines with respect to the regulation of GM crops. Ethiopia should integrate development exigencies with environmental concern in decision making, forge partnership with technology providers and resolve indecision and regulatory encumbrances to make use of less contentious GM crops such as Bt-cotton. Engaging influential individuals that champion the technology and enhancing experience of scientists for interaction with the outside world, including the international private sector may help circumvent the challenges. An independent public biotechnology knowledge system may improve accurate information flow among stakeholders, in the end, leading to informed decision making by policy makers and the public at large.

Keywords: agricultural biotechnology; biosafety; genetically modified crops; Ethiopia; Africa.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2020.112065

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2020 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.344 - 359

Accepted: 08 Feb 2018
Published online: 18 Dec 2020 *

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