A variable climate, political instability, and other constraints have limited agricultural development in African countries south of the Sahara. Genetically modified (GM) crops are one tool for enhancing agricultural productivity and food security despite such constraints.
Genetically Modified Crops in Africa: Economic and Policy Lessons from Countries South of the Sahara investigates how this tool might be effectively used by evaluating the benefits, costs, and risks for African countries of adopting GM crops. The authors gather together studies on GM crops’ economic effects and impact on trade, how consumers view such crops, and other issues. They find that GM crops have had, on average, a positive economic effect in the nations where they were used and identify future steps for enhancing GM crop adoption’s positive effects. Promising policy initiatives include making biosafety regulations that do not make GM crop development prohibitively expensive, fostering intraregional trade in GM crops, and providing more and better information about GM crops to consumers who might currently be skeptical of them. These and other findings in Genetically Modified Crops in Africa indicate ways biotechnology can contribute to economic development in Africa south of the Sahara.