http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.07Change: 0.09
R/$ = 11.57Change: 0.01
Au 1256.90 $/ozChange: -29.05
Pt 1217.50 $/ozChange: -42.00
 
 
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 Contact 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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Agriculture News
Former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel
SABMiller chairperson John Manser expects Trevor Manuel’s experience in advising multilateral organisations on emerging market development and sustainability to be a “great asset” to the soft drinks and brewing giant’s board. The JSE-listed company announced on...
GIRTH GEARS Girth gears are used to drive large, rotating systems such as dryers, rotary kilns or horizontal mills
A flexible range of girth gears, used to assist with the transfer of drive torque from a gear motor to a rotary cylinder, has been developed by drive engineering company SEW-Eurodrive.
Kenya’s raw sugar production is expected to rise 4% to 617,039 tonnes in 2015, buoyed by extra factory capacity and improved supply of cane, the industry regulator said on Wednesday. East Africa's biggest economy has an annual sugar deficit of around 200 000 tonnes,...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 1 hour 9 minutes ago Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Africa fell by 3% to around $55-billion in 2014, amid an 8% fall in global inflows to an estimated $1.26-trillion, from $1.36-trillion in 2013. In its Global Investment Trends Monitor, the United Nations Conference on Trade...
Updated 3 hours ago A trading demonstration has showcased the applicability, functionality, utility and readiness of the well-established, commercial and financial electronic infrastructure provided by private-sector commodity registry Silocerts and the JSE as a potential platform for...
Updated 3 hours ago While South African consumers will get a reprieve on the back of a lower oil price, all the potential benefits could be overshadowed by the nation’s ongoing electricity shortages. A surprise cut to below $50/bl for crude oil would soften the blow of rising costs on...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
BRUCE BRADFORD The 3D printers have a clear upgrade path to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloys
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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