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East Africa Regional Conference On Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

From: 03-07-2017 - To: 07-07-2017

Kenya Food Rights Alliance (KeFRA) and Growth Partners Africa (GPA) are pleased to announce the East Africa Regional Conference on Seed and GMO Learning and Advocacy which will be held from 15-19 June 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Africa’s economy has been largely dependent on Agriculture. Farmers originally cultivated and protected existing plant breeds using what was readily available in nature; or by inventing new plant breeds through selective breeding. This they achieved by tapping into the vast field of natural resources to solely overcome the hazards of nature that had negative effect on the farmer’s yields. 

This shows that development and innovations have been made to seed, it being the root of agriculture, the means for production and the major source of farmers’ livelihoods and always so as to favor the farmers. Furthermore, control over the seed was in the hands of small holder farmers’. 

In recent years however, we have witnessed an influx of the multinational corporations venturing into Agriculture in Africa. This they are achieving through hyping and promising farmers of seed that is more resistance to the harsh realities of the environment owing to the climate change; and governments of food secure nations. The introduction and justification for growth and sale of biotechnology seeds as a means to end food insecurity is an often misguided notion on so many levels. 

The assumption is that food insecurity is solely as a result of drought without paying attention to other diverse and complex factors e.g. lack of investment in farming infrastructure such as roads, crop storage and irrigation in vulnerable areas, poor purchasing power, lack of access to farm land, land grabs, water grabs, local conflicts and high refugee movements all of which cannot be addressed by biotechnology.

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