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Zimbabwe can adopt biotechnology-driven agriculture although there is need for comprehensive, evidence-based research trials to equip relevant stakeholders with adequate information.

This was said by Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) executive director Mr Edward Dune, who pointed to the need for more consultations with stakeholders.

Mr Dune was presenting oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education on ZNFU’s views on biotechnology-driven agriculture in Parliament yesterday.

“There is also need to complement AU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa efforts since there is evidence that these communities seek to use bio-tech agriculture to combat the drastic effects of poverty and malnutrition,” he said.

Biotechnology agriculture is where a number of scientific techniques are used to improve plants, animals and micro-organisms.

Mr Dune said biotech products, whether imported, donated or grown, go a long way in improving household incomes and the nutritional quality of staple foods.

He said ZNFU had a role to play in establishing domestic, functional bio-safety systems that were internationally binding.

Mr Dune said there was need to ensure that biotech products were safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

There are 29 countries that are involved in biotechnology agriculture and 19 of them are from the developing world while 30 countries worldwide are importers of these products.

Source : The Herald