Delegates visit India to understand Bt-cotton farming

Delegates from five COMESA countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia participated in a one week study tour to learn and first hand experience biotechnology cotton farming, regulation and commercialisation in India. The tour helped delegates gain knowledge and experience to better understand biotechnology for informed decision-making.


India was chosen due to its long experience of over 14 years of cultivating Bt- cotton, with an adoption rate of 95 per cent

The study tour included visits to public and private biotech research development facilities, insect resistant genetically modified cotton farms, seed processing facilities and relevant cotton sub-sector players in various parts of India.

India was chosen due to its long experience of over 14 years of cultivating Bt- cotton, with an adoption rate of 95 per cent. Also, since the introduction of Bt-cotton, India has transformed itself from a net importer to net exporter of cotton.

The study tour is one of the strategic objectives of COMESA Biotechnology and Biosafety Implementation Plan (COMBIP) to support experience-sharing through peer-learning platforms within COMESA member States and beyond.

“This initiative will help build the necessary confidence among the African stakeholders on regulatory and commercialisation processes, biosafety communications and trade issues of biotech crops,” said founder and director of South Asia Biotechnology Centre, Bhagirath Choudhary.
 

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