Bio technology and food security

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Bio technology and food security

  1. 1. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa BIOTECHNOLOGY AND FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA Walter S. Alhassan, PhD FARA UNN NSUKKA UNESCO INT CENTRE FOR BIOTECH MEETING
  2. 2. ANCIENT PROVERB „He who has bread may have troubles; He who lacks it has only one‟Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION West Africa is a food insecure region. The FAO (2012) estimates that 1 in 4 of the world’s 840 million malnourished live in West Africa. Globally, more than 1 billion people are malnourished. Rising population and low agricultural productivity worsen the food situation.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  4. 4. GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX GHI= number undernourished as per cent of total population + proportion chldn aged 5 and below underweight + mortality in chldn 5 and below.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION The 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI) map shows: • Nearly all of sub-Sahara Africa is in the “serious” hunger classification. • Exceptions are South Africa, Gabon, Mauritius and Ghana.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION • For West Africa, Niger and Sierra Leone classified as “alarming”. • Ghana is the only country the sub-region classified as “Moderate” and meeting the MDG 1 • Most of the increase in food crop production has been attributed more to areal expansion of farmlands than increased productivity per unit area.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  7. 7. 2012 GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX Source 50 JAHRE welt hunger hilfe,: IFPRI CONCERN worldwide (2012) 2/22/2013 72/22/2013for Agricultural Research in Africa Forum 7
  8. 8. INTRODUCTION Solution lies in: • The application of known technologies in agriculture. • Coupled with the introduction of modern biotechnology on a need basis.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  9. 9. INTRODUCTION • Modern biotech covers a range of tools:  Tissue culture  DNA characterisation of germplasm,  Marker assisted selection (use of DNA fragments as markers for the molecular identification of desirable genes)  In 2012 a major breakthrough in Marker Assisted Breeding was reported in Tanzania for cassava.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  10. 10. INTRODUCTION  Cassava varieties resistant to the ACMV and Cassava Brown Streak Disease both devastating of cassava in East Africa were developed using MAS. Was a collaborative research effort: ARI, Tanz, CIAT, NRCRI, IITA, Donald Danforth and GCP.  Genetic transformation (genetic engineering or genetic modification). Most potent of the biotechnology tools. Use governed by the application of legislative frameworks that guarantee acceptable levels of safety.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  11. 11. GM RECENT BIOETHICS ANALYSIS Study (Casquier and Otiz, 2012) considered the social, cultural, environmental and moral impacts of the use of modern biotechnology in the transgenic improvement of crops, concluded that: • “in order to feed so many people without destroying the environment in this century it is necessary to have more production using agro-biotechnology, • In spite of all the objections it will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of the environment.”Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  12. 12. WHEN CAN GM BE APPLIED? • Intractable pests and diseases, • Declining soil fertility, • Climate change phenomena of drought and flooding, • Nutrient deficiencies • Danger of agro-chemical residues in food or water resources. • Sustainable intensification of agriculture.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  13. 13. SOME GM APPLICATION CHALLENGES IN AFRICA • The existence of enabling legislation for GM crops, • Infrastructural support services, • Agro-input supply • Seed legislation • Markets and a core of well-trained and motivated scientists and informed farmersForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  14. 14. Burkina Faso GM Crop Status • Cotton is biggest export crop. Africa’s leader. • In 2012-2013 57.5% increase in cotton reported due to GM application. 400,000 tons in 2011 to 630,000 tons in 2012. • About 250,000 of the 350,000 producers are small scale farmers. • Area under Bt cottong is 250,000 ha. Bollgard II (Monsanto) used. Insect damage to cotton is 50-70%. Pyrethroids used from 1998 but there is built up resistance now. Increase number of sprays from 4-5 to 6-8.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  15. 15. Fig 2. insect Pests of Cotton in Burkina Faso 2/22/2013 152/22/2013for Agricultural Research in Africa Forum 15
  16. 16. Burkina Faso GM crop Status • Conventional cotton : increased resistance from pyrethroids. More spraying (6-8). • Bt cotton future management : refugia zones. Relates to BIOTECHNOLOGY STEWARDSHIP. Currently 15m wide refugia advocated. • Reduces chance of insect resistance to Bt.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  17. 17. Burkina Faso GM crop Status Bt Cowpea • Burkina Faso is the third largest cowpea producer in Africa. Nigeria is the largest. producer. Produced 537,000 tons in 2008. Current yield is 600kg/ha. • Major pests : Aphis, thrips and maruca. Maruca pod borer is the most devastating.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  18. 18. Burkina Faso GM crop Status Bt cowpea • Burkina Faso is one of 3 countries in Africa undertaking confined field trials on Bt cowpea. • Cowpea is genetically engineered to control the cowpea pod borer (Maruca).Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  19. 19. Burkina Faso GM crop Status Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) • Nutrient enhanced sorghum (hi carotene, iron and lysine) on test as at 2011. • Gene flow studies. • Burkina Faso is part of the ABS consortium involving Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria. Most of the consortium work has been coordinated by Africa Harvest.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  20. 20. Nigeria GM crop Status • National institutions actively engaged in GM biotechnology research at the CFT level are the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria and the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike. • GM crops under study at the field trial level are cassava, cowpea and sorghumForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  21. 21. Nigeria GM crop Status Biofortified Cassava (BC+) • This is GM cassava enriched in carotene and iron. • It has been selected for high resistance to African Cassava Mosaic Virus. • Material on study was developed by the Danforth Plant Science Centre, St Louis, Mo, USA. Original material tested is to be replaced by a locally developed cultivar preferred by farmers.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  22. 22. Nigeria GM crop Status • TME 7 is a preferred cassava variety to the one earlier tested. It is thus a candidate for transformation for fortification in micro- nutrients. • Mock confined field trials, started March 2012 on this variety to prepare for the GM event. Future?? Danforth challenge? Stewardship? • Data on agronomic characteristics, pests and diseases are being collected at the mock trialForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  23. 23. TME 7 BC+ Candidate crop 2/22/2013 232/22/2013for Agricultural Research in Africa Forum 23
  24. 24. Cowpea Production, Nigeria • World’s largest producer. • 2.2 m tons grain produced • 7 m ha cultivated • Av yield is 350 kg/ha • Grown extensively in the Savannas/Derived Savannas.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  25. 25. Cowpea Production, Nigeria Bt Cowpea • Trials have been on-going under CFT for 3 years now. • Promising lines have been identified and have been introgressed into preferred local lines and being evaluated. At least 2 more years’ study pending food safety and mulit- locational trials. • Trials are at the IAR of the Ahmadu Bello University Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  26. 26. Bt Cowpea Pod. IAR, Samaru, Nigeria 2/22/2013 262/22/2013for Agricultural Research in Africa Forum 26
  27. 27. Ghana GM Pipeline Products Permits have been granted for the following CFTs:  GM Insect (Maruca) Resistant Cowpea (CSIR-SARI)  Nitrogen and Water Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant Rice (CSIR-CRI)  GM High Protein Sweet Potato (CSIR-CRI)Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  28. 28. Other High Potential GM Crops, Ghana Uncertain timeframe • ACMV cassava. Suggest linkages: IITA, GCP.. • Black Sigatoka banana and plantain. Suggest link with NARO, Uganda. • Lethal Yellowing Disease Resistant Coconut (Central and Western Regions of Ghana). French assistance. Molecular non-GM approaches. • Diamond Back Moth (Plutela) resistant cabbage. External GM solution available.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  29. 29. ANIMAL BIOTECHNOLOGY • Globally has received much less attention than crop biotechnology. • Active areas include breed characterisation using molecular tools. Senegal, Ghana, etc. • Recombinant vaccine production. CBPP vaccine is candidate for recombinant DNA. Mali interest. • Diagnostics • Vaccine and diagnostics production are costly. Need public-private partnership.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  30. 30. GM PROSPECTS: WEST AFRICA • For Ghana: at least 3 GM crops will be tested under CFTs starting 2012. • For Ghana, Bt cotton will be introduced without the need for a CFT. Multi-locational trials on farmer’s fields will suffice. • Nigeria will release Bt cowpea and nutrient enhanced cassava in a 3-5 year timeframe. • Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria are working on the same Bt cowpea event. All countries might release Bt cowpea over the 3-5 year timeframe.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  31. 31. GM PROSPECTS: WEST AFRICA • The release of GM crops into the food chain by local public sector research institutes might create a bandwagon effect in the uptake of GM technologies in West Africa. • Biotechnology stewardship training will assume great significance in the handling of GM crops including by small holder farmers. • Such stewardship training has been introduced to Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi by the FARA SABIMA Project.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  32. 32. CHALLENGES/WAY FORWARD • Need to accelerate biosafety legislation. Legislation should not be restrictive. • Enabling environment for agriculture: seed and other input supply, infrastructure support services, market, etc. • Scientific human resource development in the critical areas: plant breeding, animal breeding, crop protection, veterinary medicine, fermentation, molecular biology and biosafety. • Increased efforts in animal biotechnology.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  33. 33. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS • Dr. Hamidou Traore, INERA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso • Dr. Chiedozie Egesi, NRCRI, Umudike, Nigeria. • Dr. Marian Dorcas Quain- CSIR-CRI, Kumasi, Ghana. • Prof. Mohammad Ishiyaku-IAR, Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria.Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  34. 34. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa Thank you get bi-monthly news from African agriculture research for development by subscribing at : www.fara-africa.org

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