http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.98Change: 0.00
R/$ = 15.91Change: -0.10
Au 1238.15 $/ozChange: -15.60
Pt 954.00 $/ozChange: -8.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jun 15, 2012

Biotechnology important to Africa’s development

Back
Goldamer Consulting's Dr Dave Keetch discusses GM policy and legislation in Africa. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 06.06.2012
 
 
 
Africa|Education|Environment|Evans|Africa|South Africa|University Of Pretoria Department|Agricultural Biotechnology|Biotechnology|Diverse|Harmful Chemicals|Media Dialogue|Bt|Michael Gastrow|Motlatsi Musi|Sandy Evans|Biotechnology
Africa|Education|Environment|Evans|Africa|||||
africa-company|education-company|environment|evans-company|africa|south-africa|university-of-pretoria-department-facility|agricultural-biotechnology|biotechnology|diverse|harmful-chemicals|media-dialogue|bt-person|michael-gastrow|motlatsi-musi|sandy-evans|biotechnology-technology
© Reuse this



Biotechnology, specifically the genetic modification of plants to produce herbi- cide tolerance, pesticide and insecticide resistance, ensures crop protection, reduces input costs and exposure to harmful chemicals and can also improve grain quality, a diverse group of biotechnology, researchers says.

Speaking at the recent AfricaBio media dialogue on agricultural biotechnology, the researchers covered legislative control of genetically modified (GM) organisms to ensure the safe and responsible handling and use of GM crops in South Africa (specifically GM maize, cotton and soy). Other topics covered included an overview of biotechnology, a public perception study and the socioeco- nomic impact of GM crops on South Africa.

University of Pretoria Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development research fellow Marnus Gouse highlighted that the approved GM crops in South Africa are maize, soy and cotton.

The use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, he said, had reduced the need to spray insecticides and has led to significantly increased cotton yields in South Africa owing to the reduced effect of problematic bollworms.

Farmers who noticed the benefit of using Bt cotton moved to using a dual-herbicide-tolerant Bt cotton strain when it was introduced, which increased their yields, compared with conventional seeds. The herbicide-tolerant nature of the cotton is beneficial as a farmer can spray herbicides to control weeds without killing the crop.

“Most benefits arise from education around the effective use of GM crops. However, farmers are pragmatic and will not use the GM seeds should the prices rise too sharply,” he explained.

GM crops were important innovations that had a role to play in the development of Africa, stated Human Sciences Research Council researcher Michael Gastrow.

“Public perceptions shape policy, meaning that science must engage effectively in public relations. Further, governments are often not involved in shaping public perception through information dissemination, which can also lead to negative perceptions if conflated with labour issues or ethical issues – issues that are often not connected to the topics being discussed.”

However, scientists had to appreciate the environment that the media worked in, includ- ing tight deadlines and restricted or limited access to primary sources, which meant that journalists were often shut out unless they had a personal relationship with the scientist or researcher. This revolved around the issue of trust and whether the scientists felt that non- experts accurately expressed their professional views, he added.

Meanwhile, Soweto smallholder GM maize farmer Motlatsi Musi explained that he had been planting Bt maize since 2004, which increased his yields by controlling his stalk borer infestations. As a result of his extra profits, he had bought a mechanical harvester and had increased his land under cultivation.

“We missed the green revolution. Let us not miss the biotechnology revolution,” said science publication Spoonful of Science editor and pharmacologist Dr Sandy Evans.

There was a lack of input and investment into agricultural development in Africa and, hence, stagnating food production growth, she highlighted.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
WIDENING FLEXIBILITY The trailers have a 3-m-wide (2-file) and 4.3-m-wide (2-file) configuration
Updated 5 hours ago Lifting, transporting, installing and ballasting solutions provider Ale has expanded its global fleet of trailers and invested in the latest range of widening trailers that can be mechanically widened from 3 m to the desired width for any project. Ale ordered 48 axle...
Updated 5 hours ago The market for the BMW 7 Series in South Africa differs quite significantly from the rest of the world. China, the US and the Middle East almost exclusively buy the long-wheel-base version, using the German manufacturer’s luxury high-end sedan as a chaffeur-driven...
Updated 5 hours ago January new-vehicle sales fell by 6.9%, to 48 615 units, compared with the same month last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that the domestic new passenger-car market declined by 6.1%, to 34 936 units, compared with 12 months ago.
More
 
 
Latest News
President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma unveiled the skeletons of what he described as an economic “turnaround plan” in a State of the Nation Address dominated by the current plight of the South African economy, which was unlikely to grow by more than 1% in 2016 and would not nearly...
South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended the Competition Tribunal conditionally approve the proposed merger between Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration, Glencore’s Optimum coal mine and six target firms. The commission found that the proposed transaction was...
Incoming joint Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa
Incoming joint Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa believes “simplistic” correlations of the company’s performance to the oil price will become less relevant in coming years as the revenue and profit contribution of its chemicals business rises in line with its large North...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
WIDENING FLEXIBILITY The trailers have a 3-m-wide (2-file) and 4.3-m-wide (2-file) configuration
Updated 5 hours ago Lifting, transporting, installing and ballasting solutions provider Ale has expanded its global fleet of trailers and invested in the latest range of widening trailers that can be mechanically widened from 3 m to the desired width for any project. Ale ordered 48 axle...
Updated 5 hours ago The market for the BMW 7 Series in South Africa differs quite significantly from the rest of the world. China, the US and the Middle East almost exclusively buy the long-wheel-base version, using the German manufacturer’s luxury high-end sedan as a chaffeur-driven...
Updated 5 hours ago January new-vehicle sales fell by 6.9%, to 48 615 units, compared with the same month last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that the domestic new passenger-car market declined by 6.1%, to 34 936 units, compared with 12 months ago.
Updated 5 hours ago Information technology (IT) equipment and infrastructure multinational Dell is providing open infrastructure systems for clients so that they can use any systems, including innovative new systems, that suit their business needs, says Dell Europe, Middle East and...
Updated 5 hours ago South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group, Denel, has set up another international partnership, based in Hong Kong. This new subsidiary is Denel Asia and it is a joint venture (JV) with South African private sector company VR Laser.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149