11 African Countries Doing Field Tests For Genetically Modified Crops

Written by Dana Sanchez

Rice field trial site in Nigeria. Photo: ofabnigeria.com


Nigeria has lagged in GM development, but could emerge as a leader in African biotech development two years after passing a landmark biosafety bill. Field tests are being conducted for four GMO crops: insect-resistant Bt cotton; Bt cowpea; iron-, zinc-, protein- and vitamin A-fortified and nitrogen-efficient sorghum; and salt-tolerant and water-efficient rice. If the trials are successful the government hopes to commercialize these crops within three years.

Trials have been approved for Bt corn. The government wants commercial production to begin within five years. Research is underway on vitamin A-fortified and disease-resistant cassava.