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June 13, 2012

FAO official urges GM crops-wary Zambia to accept them

Zambia has consistently expressed its official opposition to GM crops, but as elsewhere in Africa, the pressure to adopt them is relentless.

FAO climate change expert Louis Bockel mainly used southern Africa's increasingly unpredictable weather patterns to argue for why it was now particularly important for countries like Zambia to take a new look at GM technology.

A few weeks before Bockel's April call, an official of Zambia's recently-elected ruling party reiterated the country's continuing misgivings about gene-modified crops.

''Farmers will have to develop new crop varieties or hybrids as a way to adapt. With climate change, you need to diversify into more resilient crops, plants that would be more water-efficient or drought-tolerant,'' the Times of Zambia reported Bockel as saying. ''During such times, you can not afford to ignore technology… you forget the myths.''

African Agriculture

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