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Old 17-09-2003, 01:36 AM
David Kendra
 
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Default BIOTECH NOT ANSWER TO AFRICA'S FOOD CRISIS, STEPHEN LEWIS SAYS

BIOTECH NOT ANSWER TO AFRICA'S FOOD CRISIS, STEPHEN LEWIS SAYS
September 16, 2003
The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo)
A8
Canadian Press
Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special ambassador for HIV-AIDS in Africa,
was cited as telling a conference of companies promoting and developing
genetically modified crops that human disease, not drought, is destroying
Africa's ability to feed itself and pushing unwanted genetically modified
food on the continent will not change that, adding, "So many farmers had
died or were sick that there was inevitably in various communities a decline
in food production. You've got to go way beyond that. You have women in
the fields in crippling positions with primitive hoes, working round the
clock. You have children being taken out of school in order to work the
farms because they've got sick and dying parents.''
Lewis said western governments and corporations have not stepped up to
provide the level of help required.
Florence Wambugu, a a Kenyan-born scientist was cited as telling the
conference she believes biotechnology has many benefits for African farmers,
adding "I'm not a GM crusader. (But) I know for sure that if we are going to
increase food production in Africa, you have to use science and technology.
The average production in Africa is 1.7 tonnes per hectare. The global
average is four. North America, Canada, Europe, you do up to six, even
more."
She said most arable land in Africa is already cultivated so ignoring
science and technology restricts the chances for agricultural growth.





 
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