Table of Contents

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development

Elgar original reference

Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle

This book is a compendium of knowledge, experience and insight on agriculture, biotechnology and development. Beginning with an account of GM crop adoptions and attitudes towards them, the book assesses numerous crucial processes, concluding with detailed insights into GM products. Drawing on expert perspectives of leading authors from 57 different institutions in 16 countries, it provides a unique, global overview of agbiotech following 20 years of adoption. Many consider GM crops the most rapid agricultural innovation adopted in the history of agriculture. This book provides insights as to why the adoption has occurred globally at such a rapid rate.

Chapter 7: Africa

Jennifer Thomson

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, development studies, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, biotechnology, environmental sociology, innovation and technology, biotechnology


Most African countries have been slow to adopt genetically modified (GM) crops, largely for the reasons outlined in Chapter 12 by Robert Paarlberg. In this chapter the main crops (cotton and maize) and the main traits (insect and herbicide resistance) will be discussed. So far South Africa, the first adopting country in Africa, has commercialized cotton (insect resistance), maize (insect resistance and herbicide tolerance), and soybeans (herbicide resistance). Egypt, the second, grows insect-resistant maize, and Burkina Faso, the most recent, has introduced insect-resistant cotton (James, 2011). Upcoming traits (virus resistance, drought tolerance and nutritional enhancement) and new crops (cowpeas, bananas and cassava) will also be addressed. Finally a few public perceptions which are also hindering the acceptance of these crops will be mentioned. When considering GM crops it is worth noting what Bill Gates wrote in the 2012 Annual Letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: 'We can help poor farmers sustainably increase their productivity so they can feed themselves and their families. But that will only happen if we prioritize agricultural innovation.'

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information