Researchers, Policymakers Convene Conference to Discuss the Implications of GM Crops for Smallholder African Farmers

International experts, key policymakers, heads of farmers associations, and private sector representatives gathered in Entebbe from May 19-21 to examine the potential benefits and challenges of producing genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa. The conference, “Delivering Agricultural Biotechnology to African Farmers: Linking Economic Research to Decision Making,” was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development.

Deciding whether or not to make GM crops a priority in their agricultural development and food and nutrition security strategies and invest in modern biotechnology is an important consideration for many African countries. To help inform such policy decisions, conference participants shared research findings that address critical questions such as the economic impacts of GM crops on small farmers, the obstacles preventing farmers from gaining access to and successfully using GM technology, as well as what lessons countries can learn from each other. A critical element of the conference was determining how to better communicate these research findings to policymakers.

All conference information, including the presentations, press release, and more, are available on its website: http://africabiotech.wordpress.com/