chapter  6
8 Pages

Transgenic Horticultural Crops on the African Continent

Globally, the area planted to genetically modi‰ed crops has continued to increase. In 2008, the area planted to genetically modi‰ed organisms (GMOs) was 125 million hectares, representing 13.3  million farmers in 25 countries made up of 15 developing countries and 10 developed countries.1 Of these countries, only three African countries have commercialized GMOs, namely, South Africa, Egypt, and Burkina Faso, with the latter two being in their ‰rst year of commercialization. South Africa ‰rst commercialized Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton in 1997, and in subsequent years, six other crop/trait combinations would be commercialized: Bt maize in 1998, round-up ready (RR) soybean in 2000, RR cotton also in 2000, herbicide tolerant (HT) maize in 2002, the stacked traits HT and Bt cotton in 2005,

Introduction ............................................................................................................ 147 South Africa ........................................................................................................... 149

Bt Potato ............................................................................................................ 149 Fruits ................................................................................................................. 150

Egypt ...................................................................................................................... 150 Squash, Melon, Watermelon, and Cucumber .................................................... 150

Kenya ..................................................................................................................... 150 Sweet Potato ...................................................................................................... 150

Uganda ................................................................................................................... 151 Transgenic Banana ............................................................................................ 151

Ongoing Projects .................................................................................................... 151 Status of Biosafety Regulation in Selected African Countries .............................. 152 Expected Economic Effects of Introducing Transgenic Horticultural Crops in Ghana ................................................................................................................. 152 Way Forward: Synergies and Lessons Learned ..................................................... 153 References .............................................................................................................. 153

and HT and Bt maize in 2007.2 Three countries are still a small number of countries in Africa but nevertheless a welcome improvement on previous years, as the spread now covers all regional blocks on the continent that could result in viable synergies. For the ‰rst time, each block has a regional lead country, Egypt to the north, Burkina Faso to the west, and South Africa to the east and south. The signing into law of the draft Biosafety bill in Kenya in January 2009 as well as the fact that Kenya already has a number of GM crops in the pipeline clearly places Kenya in the driving seat to take the lead in the east.