http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.34Change: -0.05
R/$ = 12.15Change: 0.01
Au 1188.90 $/ozChange: 0.40
Pt 1112.00 $/ozChange: -4.00
 
 
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
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Agriculture News
Updated 2 hours 41 minutes ago JSE-listed Nutritional Holdings says it had made “great strides” towards achieving its medium-term turnaround strategy during the year ended February 28. However, owing to procedural and regulatory constraints, the time taken to finalise the company’s black...
ROBUST CONTRIBUTION The product offering for the KwaZulu-Natal region will include the Aerzen Delta Blower Generation 5 roots type blower for the sugar production industry
Gas conveying and compression company Aerzen Airgas Blowers and Compressors is opening a new branch north of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal in June. KwaZulu-Natal Airgas branch manager Earl Houston tells Engineering News that the branch will be operational from June 1,...
LOCAL GROWTH The South African paper business continued to progress with higher volumes, pricing and lower logistics and fixed costs
Pulp and paper producer Sappi has increased its net profit for the three months to March 31, by 75% to $56-million, compared with the profit of $32-million recorded in the March 2014 quarter.
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 1 hour 24 minutes ago All grades of petrol will increase by 47c/ℓ on Wednesday, the Department of Energy announced on Friday. The reef price for unleaded 93 and LRP petrol was currently standing at R12.61/ℓ, while unleaded 95 cost R12.89/ℓ.
Updated 1 hour 26 minutes ago JSE-listed Tower Property Fund has acquired the Link Hills Shopping Centre, in Waterfall, KwaZulu-Natal for R160.9-million from The Sabre Trust and Matlu Family Trust. The shopping centre, on Inanda Road, was situated in an upper-high-growth residential area, next to...
Updated 1 hour 33 minutes ago South Africa recorded a trade deficit of R2.51-billion ($207-million) in April from a revised shortfall of R9-million in March, data from the revenue agency showed on Friday. Exports fell by 7.5% to R84-billion, while imports were down 4.8% to R86.5-billion on a...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
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.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
PAUL SPEAR Training and development should be an integral and proportionate part of the long-term strategy of all companies, regardless of their size
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96