The desert locust, generally considered one of the most devastating pests in the world to agriculture, has been hitting farmers hard in the Horn of Africa as well as the Arabian Peninsula for six months, devouring crops and pasture. With COVID-19, the situation has gone from bad to worse.
Anti-biotech activists and sentiment are entrenched throughout Africa, but U.S. farm groups and businesses are hoping a free trade agreement with Kenya will help the country break through its GMO barriers and provide an example to other nations of what the science can do for farmers and food security.
Africa’s uneasy history with agricultural biotechnology can be summed up by what’s growing, and not growing, on a small research farm in central Malawi, one of the poorest and most food-insecure countries on the planet.
By just about any measure, more food is wasted in developed countries than developing countries, but when it comes to measuring impact, lost food can be absolutely tragic in countries like Nigeria where a lack of infrastructure and energy sources commonly wipes out crops, bankrupts farmers and steals food from the hungry.