Food security and plant biotechnology applications in Africa

Africa is, paradoxically, a continent rich in resources, and yet, lacking and lagging in overall development. African Agriculture in facing great challenges. Accordingly, African countries have developed policies aimed at transforming agriculture to commercial business. Plant biotechnology has far-reaching consequences for agriculture such as tissue culture and other biotechnological tools, which can improve the efficiency of breeding of cultivars and overall agricultural productivity. Use of genetic modification (GM) biotechnology is however very limited and is so far confined to 14 African countries, but only 3 counties have commercialized GM crops. Africa must speedily embrace use of biotechnology to increase productivity. However, the agricultural and food security problems cannot be solved by applying plant biotechnology alone. Other processes as outlined in the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) must be put in place and supported by skilled human capital.
L’Afrique est, paradoxalement, un continent riche en ressources, et encore, en retard de développement global. L’agriculture africaine fait face à de grands défis. En conséquence, les pays africains ont élaboré des politiques visant à transformer l’agriculture pour les entreprises commerciales. La biotechnologie végétale a de lourdes conséquences pour l’agriculture comme la culture de tissus et d’autres outils biotechnologiques, ce qui peut améliorer l’efficacité de la sélection de cultivars et de l’ensemble de la productivité agricole. L’utilisation de la modification génétique (OGM) la biotechnologie est toutefois très limité et est à ce jour limitée à 14 pays africains, mais seulement 3 pays ont commercialisé des cultures génétiquement modifiées (OGM). L’Afrique doit rapidement adopter l’utilisation de la biotechnologie pour accroître la productivité. Toutefois, les problèmes agricoles et la sécurité alimentaire ne peuvent être résolus par l’application de la biotechnologie végétale seulement. D’autres procédés comme indiqué dans le Programme Compréhensif du Développement de l’Agriculture de l’Afrique (CAADP) doivent être mis en place et soutenues par le capital humain qualifié.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Africa Wide
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Plant Breeding"