Local farmers have indicated that they don’t have qualms with the government allowing the ploughing of Genetically Modified Maize, describing such move as “long overdue.”
Last week, Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security told Pandamatenga farmers that the government has drafted a bio-security bill with the view of introducing genetically modified maize in the country.
The farmers feel it is high time the country introduces GMO laws in order to compete with the rest of the world in food production.
Speaking in an interview, Botswana Farmers Association (BOFA) President, Diane Sibanda said GMOs are being used the world over and Botswana should also tap into that.
“As farmers, we don’t have a problem with that because we have to compete with other countries which are using GMOs. If it works for other countries, why can’t it work for us?” asked Sibanda rhetorically.
Sibanda said the GMOs have always formed part of their discussions at regional platforms but pointed out that the topic has not been discussed in-depth with the government since the outbreak of Covid-19 contact between the two parties is said to have been minimal.
The ban in GMOs is said to have resulted in a short supply of cereal in the country as local farmers struggled to meet demand.
A GMO can either be a plant, animal, or any other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a lab using genetic engineering or transgenic technology.