Viewpoint

GMO debate is democratic test for liberalizing Ethiopia

As the government controversially opens Ethiopia to genetically modified crops, now is the time for newly unshackled civil society voices to lead the debate

A coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations and their global allies have launched a campaign against the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms in Ethiopia.

The public outcry started when United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service published a report that revealed that the government had approved commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) insect-resistant cotton (Bt-cotton) and confined trial of GM enset and maize in Ethiopia.

In 2015, the Ethiopian parliament opened up the country to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by loosening the safeguards built into a 2009 biosafety law. Three years later, the government approved commercial cultivation of a strain of cotton.

Despite this, there has been limited public debate or media coverage. Yet, the moves broke with decades of Ethiopian public policy and have major implications for Africa as a whole.

The Ethiopian approach was praised in the above-mentioned report published in February 2020: “approval of commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) insect-resistant cotton (Bt-cotton) and confined field trail on GM maize can be taken as an effort to improve agricultural productivity using modern agricultural tools.”

Pleased with the government’s deeds, the report went on to state that the country’s “adoption of Bt-cotton not only has [high] economic importance but [is] also expected to have [a] positive influence on the acceptance of this technology in the region.”

Criticizing the government for its past precautionary approach to GMOs, the report says Ethiopia is now on track “especially considering that a decade ago the country was at the forefront of the anti-GMO movement in Africa.”

The USDA’s appreciation of Ethiopia’s policy change may well be driven by a strategic interest for the U.S. and its multinationals to use Ethiopia as a springboard to expand GMO cultivation in Africa.

Despite GMO establishment of various crops in South Africa since the late 1990s, expansion elsewhere on the continent has thus far been restricted to four out of the 47 countries, and with the exception of South Africa, limited to Bt cotton.  However, there are indications that this may change. While recent droughts have led Zambia and Zimbabwe to lift bans on importation of GM maize for consumption, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda seem to be the new target countries for expanding GM production. Uganda has allowed trials for genetically modified banana in last few years. Rwanda is considering opening up to genetically modified potato.

Bio-strategic

As the home of the African Union diplomatic community, Ethiopia is a particularly strategic country to promote GMO expansion on the continent.

For example, a 2016 field visit to a Bt-cotton field trial in Werer in Afar region of Ethiopia counted multi-lateral organizations such as New Partnership For Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency and African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) among its attendants. Furthermore, Addis Ababa has hosted the African Union’s African Seed and Biotechnology Programme since 2008. In this manner, Ethiopia may prove to be a more effective springboard than South Africa has been.

Two scenarios are possible to envisage. On the one hand, given Ethiopia’s role as a Pan-African leader, the opening up of Ethiopia to GMOs can lead to similar policy shifts elsewhere, as hoped for by the USDA. On the other hand, Ethiopia’s Pan-African reputation and leadership can be questioned by those who are aware of the potential risks GMOs pose for the environment, as well as the negative implications of the control of agricultural inputs by a few multinationals.

Prior to 2015, Ethiopia resisted the use of GMOs for many years, taking a keen interest in global environmental negotiations and playing a key leadership role within the African Group. Among others, Ethiopia, through its former chief negotiator, Dr. Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher, played a key role in the international negotiations that led to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which was adopted in 2000 and entered into force in 2003.

The protocol was hailed by African countries and environmental groups as an international mechanism to protect the safety of the environment, human health and the quality of socio-economic and cultural conditions from potential risks arising from use of GMOs. Many African countries rushed to sign and ratify the Protocol and developed restrictive national laws to domesticate it, using precautionary principles as a fundament.

Laws and leadership

As a foundation for its GMO regulatory system, in 2009 Ethiopia enacted a highly restrictive biosafety law that prohibited the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment. By passing this law, Ethiopia proved to itself and to crop diversity enthusiasts and scientists like Dr Melaku Worede that it was protecting its uniquely high crop diversity from GMO contamination and genetic erosion.

Furthermore, this was in harmony with a law (Proclamation No.123/1995) prohibiting patents on plants and animals and a law (Proclamation No. 481/2006, later amended to Proclamation No.1068/2017) establishing farmers’ rights to save, re-use, exchange and sell seeds of all kinds from their produce.

On the ground, Ethiopia has the biggest national genebank in Africa, which was established in 1976. As of June 2019, the national genebank in Addis Ababa has conserved about 86,599 samples of seeds of over 100 species of plants (mainly food crops) that have been collected from all over the country. In two field genebanks, the country has conserved 5,644 samples of coffee plants.

Ethio-Organic Seed Action Community Seed Bank site in Heexosa district, Arsi for re-introduction of traditional varieties of durum wheat from national genebank; Teshome Hunduma

The restrictive laws in Ethiopia were developed to protect smallholder farmers from becoming indebted to and dependent on multinational corporations for seeds. The multinationals enjoy the privilege offered to them by the World Trade Organization (WTO)—of which Ethiopia is only an aspiring member—to control the agricultural inputs including seeds through global markets and international rules, e.g., patents on GMO seeds.

Farmers are not allowed to re-use patented GMO seeds saved from their harvest and must instead buy seeds from the companies every planting season. The multinationals can even sue farmers if they find genes from their patented GMO seeds (e.g. maize) in farmers’ fields.

This is against the “‘polluter pays principle”, where companies whose GMOs contaminate farmers’ fields are supposed to compensate farmers. This was what the government aimed to avert by passing the highly restrictive 2009 biosafety law on the process for approving genetically modified crop cultivation. The USDA report described Ethiopia as the “vanguard of [the] anti-GMO movement in Africa by working with [the] African Union and drafting the restrictive African Model law” for its actions.

This is not a new accusation as the Ethiopian chief negotiator has been through several hurdles, the lessons of which he used to teach many Africans how international actors put aside Africa’s interests and advance theirs.  In contrast to such accusations, environmental groups and African countries hailed the Ethiopian leadership for farsighted action to promote environmental sustainability. The government’s recent opening up of the country to GMOs is degrading this reputation.

Unfertile soil

Since the mid-2000s, as a precursor to the recent liberalization of Ethiopia’s GMO regulations, there has been intensified promotion of commercial seed market development through private entry into the business, especially for hybrid maize seeds. This is supported by the government’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa as well as their funders such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  Extensive documentation has been made on how these actors’ work and support the commercial cultivation of GMOs in Africa and Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has a lot to thank these actors for. Through ATA, they supported capacity building of its public research and seed sector institutions. ATA managed to wake the Ministry of Agriculture’s apparatus up from a decades-long deep sleep. They developed strategies and set clear objectives for the Ministry. Consequently, agricultural research and the formal seeds system have improved in many ways during the last 10 years.

However, the formal seed sector in Ethiopia continues to report considerable barriers to the uptake of improved seeds, and seed wastage at public seed enterprises and farmer Union stores has been a common occurrence. Although this is due to many factors such as institutional ineffectiveness, high seed price is one of the major factors that discourages smallholder farmers from investment in improved seeds. One may wonder then how these farmers might afford expensive patented GMO seeds from multinationals. Even in South Africa, where maize is the main staple and 90% of marketed maize is GM, smallholder farmers have been slow to adopt GM maize.

Research shows that GM seeds are out of reach for smallholder farmers in most of Africa. It is simply too costly and too risky. Especially in the context of climate change and the tiny landholdings in countries like Ethiopia. So, who will they be selling GMO seeds to? Big new commercial actors in regions such as Gambella? Or is it hoped to be a means of credit and input provision for smallholders? If so, will crop insurance be similarly provided, in case of failure? With so much unknown, it is worrisome.

False claims

In 2015, when the parliament made the amendment of the law, and the main argument was to allow Bt-cotton to meet the growing textile industry in Ethiopia. Prior to the amendment, the same argument was used by the GMO actors to push for changing the 2009 biosafety law. However, there were no solid justifications for expanding genetic modification to indigenous crops such as enset.

According to the USDA report, Ethiopia has also approved a confined field trail of disease-resistant enset (Ensete ventricosum) in addition to genetically modified maize and commercial cultivation of Bt-cotton. Enset, commonly called “false banana” is a native crop to Ethiopia. Together with teff (Eragrostis tef) and coffee (Coffea arabica), enset constitutes the country’s cultural keystone crop species with which Ethiopian cultural identity and economy is strongly linked. As noted in USAID factsheet , the U.S. actors are keen on developing GMO versions of African indigenous crops. Patent follows genetic modification.

The attempt for genetic modification on enset could be an effort to patent the plant and get control of the Ethiopian raw mince dish kitfo, which is eaten with kocho—not to enhance enset production. The bacterial wilt disease problem is evident among enset farmers in Ethiopia. But the solution lies on simple knowledge-based strategies and awareness-raising campaign among growers to mitigate disease spread and management than an expensive and risky technology that doesn’t fits the condition of smallholders.

An attempt to genetically modify and release enset for commercialization requires a high-level of precaution. This is important because there are no independent studies which show improved yield, disease-resistance nor socio-economic benefits for smallholder farmers from use of genetically modified crops compared to conventionally bread varieties.

For example, Bt-cotton failed in Burkina Faso due to loss over time of its insect-resistant traits and yield potential. This has incurred economic losses for farmers due to high prices for seeds and associated agrochemicals. Besides, farmers were not able to use the seeds for food due to lack of confidence about its safety for their health. Similar experiences have been documented in India.

Regulatory weakness

Even more troubling is the weakness of Ethiopia’s regulatory system, as many people are already consuming genetically modified foods without knowing what they buy from stores. According to the USDA report “Ethiopia does import processed agricultural products such as soybean and corn oils, as well as breakfast cereals made from GM ingredients.” The report adds, “some food aid commodities, like corn-soy blend, which are GM products [used] for school feeding and humanitarian programs, [are] allowed to come to the country under a special waiver.”

This clearly shows a regulatory vacuum and lack of accountability to inform the public on the kind of foods they buy from suppliers. Before introducing GMOs to Ethiopian agriculture, a strong regulatory system should be in place, public research should be improved, and studies of GMOs’ socioeconomic values should be conducted by an independent body.

The effective dissemination of conventionally bred, well-adapted crop varieties coupled with good agronomic practices can improve crop production and productivity among Ethiopian smallholders without the need for GMOs. For this to happen, mistrust, and the imbalance in the agronomist–farmer knowledge exchange must be tackled. The critical problem in Ethiopia is the dogmatic condescension towards smallholders, and an uncritical faith in techno-scientific solutions, that is rampant within government agricultural institutions.

The U.S. positivity about Ethiopia’s adoption of GMOs is unfounded. If Ethiopia does not demonstrate why the benefits of GMOs for African smallholder farmers and industry exceed the risks, it will lose its Pan-Africanist leadership position in the environmental issues. A couple of decades after the Adwa victory, in the 1920s a West African nationalist newspaper stated that, “… when we speak of our prospects, we speak of the prospect of the entire Ethiopian race. By the Ethiopian race we mean the sons and daughters of Africa scattered throughout the world.”

Ethiopia is a symbol of independence and resistance against colonialism in Africa and has earned a reputation for organizing African unity in many areas including the NEPAD, and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Democratic test

It may appear that Ethiopia will lead GMO adoption as the U.S. hopes. But the reality is that Africans know that GMOs are not welcome in many parts of the world, including by member states of the European Union and European Free Trade Association member states. ‘Why in Africa? will be many people’s question. And it is this question that will undermine Ethiopia’s position as a Pan-African leader on environmental issues.

Moreover, I would like all of us to ask why this happening right now? This is a vulnerable time for Ethiopia during transition to democracy. The experience of South Africa approving GM crops almost immediately upon its own transition to democracy in the late 1990s demonstrates that such periods of uncertainty may be used to make hasty decisions without due consultation and public oversight. Transparency about the decision-making process is important.

After coming to power, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed encouraged all sectors of society to contribute and participate in public debate and policy-making. I did my part. So are Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Ethiopia. Last week, a coalition of 11 Ethiopian CSOs together with their global allies (40 organizations) launched a campaign against cultivation of GMOs.

Their message was loud and clear.

“The institutions that are set up to protect us from risks arising out of the planting and use of GMOs are not equipped to protect the health of the people and the environment. We ask the Ethiopian government to institute a moratorium, of no less than five years, on any GMO field trials and any commercial planting until the proper institutional and regulatory mechanisms are set up, and a proper public consultation process has been held.”

Two farmers show seed stock of traditional crop varieties at Ejere Community Seed Bank, E. Shoa, Oromia; Teshome Hunduma

This is a litmus test for democracy and civil society participation in public policy making in Ethiopia, specifically of the implementation of Ethiopia’s new Organizations of Civil Societies Proclamation. Passed in March 2019, the new proclamation repealed and replaced the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation which put severe restrictions on the ability of Ethiopian CSOs to work on democracy and human rights issues.

This was done by prohibiting them from receiving more than 10 percent of financing from abroad if they worked in certain areas such as human rights and democracy promotion. The reopening of civic space under the new proclamation was hailed by human rights organizations, although some concerns remain about the framework.

The campaign launched by the coalition of Ethiopian CSOs and their allies is a reminder to the Ethiopian government not to make a historic mistake that would have consequences for biodiversity, public health, and the socio-economic conditions of smallholder farmers across the continent.

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), which is mandated to implement the current biosafety law has been quiet on the GMO issue. However, several technocrats who work directly with GMO-promoting international actors have already spoken to mainstream media outlets, denied the facts published in the USDA report, and started intimidating those who expressed their concern in a civil manner.

More troubling is that the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute has started the same strategy of denial, insult and intimidation on its Facebook page. This is a public institution financed by taxpayer money.  Under these conditions, it is difficult to see how all sectors of society can contribute and participate in public debate and policy-making, as promised by Prime Minister Abiy.

This echoes worrying trends elsewhere. Debates on GMOs across the globe have suffered from high levels of polarization, often disintegrating into a battle between modernization and farmers’ rights. In reality, smallholder farmers’ interests and needs often lie somewhere in between. Ethiopia now has the opportunity to show global leadership by bridging this divide. To do this, Ethiopia must nurture a respectful and balanced debate that can be the foundation of a much-needed institutional framework to regulate GMOs.

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This is the author’s viewpoint. However, Ethiopia Insight will correct clear factual errors.

Editor: Emily Henehan, William Davison

Main photo: A farmer showing six different varieties of teff from his plot in Gindabarat district, West Shoa, Oromia; Teshome Hunduma

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About the author

Teshome Hunduma

Teshome worked for Ethiopia’s national genebank from 2001-07. He is doing his PhD in the International Environment and Development Studies department at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences with a focus on seed security in Ethiopia.

14 Comments

  • One just needs to study GMO in India ghd past 70 years to understand its devastation. Thousands of farmers gave committed suicide and the soil is irreversibly damaged.

    • Glad to see that some compatriots have still awareness and serious concerns about this contraversal issue. There is no shortage of scientific body especially in the last five decades or so, about the potential harm of genetically modified plants and organisms on environment and public health . For one thing, it seriously impacts biodiversity and gene pool, nothing to say effects on soil chemistry microorganisms, and for another thing, this practice is detrimental to human health and holistic food chain. Ever wonder why Europeans who have equal , if not more scienfic knowledge of Americans, havr been up against the use of GM plants and hormone laced meat for so long? Or why an item of any organic food costs triple or fourth of what natural one costars n the store? At this point, proponents of GMO scheme are either so naive to grasp the issue or they have vested interest in profit-oriented agendas of the issue and in cahoots with GMO corporate monsters like MONSANTO,.There can’t be other explanation for it.

  • Dear Teshome, your concern is very legitimate and your knowledge is very much valuable to Ethiopia. With all this knowledge and experience that you have acquired so far, it is sad to see you falling for the wrong side in this debate. GMOs are considered at least as safe as conventional/organic sides. Human and animals have been consuming them already for over 30 yrs. No body got hurt or no birds dropped from the sky. Besides, GMOs actually have a strong potential to protect the biodiversity than many argue. Please read more about their nature and application. What GMOs have is traits that can be introduced into any seed of interest. You can find more facts in the link below. You can also google search to learn more about their benefit and to see the other side. It is worth it if you really care about our hardworking farmers: https://agbiotech.ces.ncsu.edu/what-crops-have-a-gmo-trait-what-do-the-traits-do-and-what-is-the-benefit-of-these-traits/

    • Dear Tedros,
      Thank you for the comments. You started by saying that “you have knowledge and experience.” Then you concluded by saying that “you have to learn about GMOs by reading a promotion article published by agribiotech company.” You see that is the problem I observe. When we sink in the corporate agenda, we can’t see the other side of the societal challenges, and our mind resists listening others. Unfortunately I don’t read promotion leaflets. I read journal articles written by scientists from public institutions. I also filter my reading based on funding information that publishers provide because tech companies and opponents of technology can also influence research conclusions. Sorry, I can’t read the link you sent me. I have access to scientific articles.
      Regards
      T

      • Dear Teshome, I would still suggest reading it but verify, if needed, based articles from your trusted sources (articles from public institutions). Being an academician, you have the privilege to listen to everyone’s side, read everyone’s story and try to make unbiased conclusions. So please, give it a try. Just from my impression, It looks that your views are very much influenced to dislike agritech corporations. It is understandable with all the media campaigns that never end against those companies. If you investigate how many politicians and NGOs take advantage of this propaganda for their own existence, you would be surprised. E.g. People often misunderstand the European stance on GMOs. Superficially, it looks like about safety but if you bring the geopolitics in the equation, you would see the actual reasons. They don’t need the technology to produce their crops at the moment due to limited pest pressures. What works best for them is promoting against it to stay relevant in the global market. It is working indeed. Why? Organic farming promoted esp in Europe is very unproductive but if you put a price tag based on safety, you compensate somehow the loss. However, there is no tangible evidence showing natural/organic is safer in any sort from conventional/ GM. It might even be less safe since it is more prone to infections. Also, if nature is safer, why don’t we eat everything from the wild? As nobody questions the safety of organic/natural, nobody tests. Besides to this, the major seed suppliers to European farmers are the same corporates that produce GMOs. Yes, those corporates produce all kinds of seeds, GM or no-GM. When it comes to Africa and small holder farmers, we are taught to save our farmers from the corporates so that the farmers’ seed bank and ‘biodiversity’ is preserved. This is like considering as though there is no alternative and as if our farmers are like wild life in a national park that does not deserve a civilised agriculture. Otherwise, as long as Europe farmers enjoy seeds and other agri inputs from these corporates, why are our farmers denied of it? Those companies sell e.g. corn seed packages to European farmer that potentially yield up to 15tn per hectare while our farmers can’t produce even 1tn/hactare with their own corn seed bank. GMOs are just one component of the agri input that are offered on a need basis looking at the local pest/weed pressure. They are very important for our farmers. For the livestock business which has a huge contribution in the European economy, the majority of Europe feeds its animals imported GM soybean and corn from the Americans. Yes, Europe doesn’t have the land to produce enough of those two crops for their animals. Also, if you buy an organic meat, it just means that the cow was not fed GM just starting from few days before slaughtering. Besides to this, Europe invests also on future GM technology just to adopt it whenever the need arises. Please read as e.g. CostActions sponsored by the European Commission. Just to backup my arguments, I am sharing the link below. You may find in this link many GM crops assessed by European food safety authority and considered safe to use for human food and animal feed. Search with subject ‘GMO’ and type ‘scientific opinion/statement’. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/publications

        • Dear Tedros,
          I repeat myself. I do not read leaflets or propaganda materials either from multinational companies or groups against their technological solutions, I do not align myself with any of their positions. I do see perspectives of both sides. But my knowlede base is from scientific literature by researchers in public institutions. I view the relevance of GMOs from the point of view of smallholder farmers’ socio-economic and technological needs. They have several challenges and needs that can be addressed through conventional means. Not enough of such methods have been used yet. It is also about true representation of primary stakeholders in decision making. It is not you and me who should decide for them. The have the wisdom and capacity to make judgments. But institutions have the responsibility to protect their interests, and they can do this both by consulting them and conducting independent assessment (an issue that I advocate for). Your example of Europe is totally irrelevant for comparison. You think Ethiopians resist because Europe resisted? If yes, you do not know Ethiopians…grab a history book. Rather the European case is interesting for Ethiopians, because Ethiopian producers/exporters have huge potential to benefit from export of organic products. Consumers in Europe are resisting GMOs and would appreciate organic products from countries like Ethiopia. But traces of GMOs in organic products (e.g honey) can damage Ethiopia’s reputation in such ventures. This is my last word for you. Thank you for engaging though.
          T

          • Dear Teshome,
            Sure, I understand. I might be the last person that you need to reply to. Anyhow, I leave here my follow up questions/ comments for your thoughts and close it. First of all, I think if you or I don’t need to decide on their fate, why do you write something like this? Why don’t everyone have the chance to demonstrate the technology they hold and let the farmers plant seeds of their choice? Why do they have to be prisoners of their own seeds because of advocates like you? Your article doesn’t even include any farmers’ opinion, even that of the one on the front pic. Second, do you have any clue about conventional breeding? How costly it is and how many years it would take with this method to identify traits of interest and breed to varieties of interest? Where do you think all the capital resource would come to run this for the farmers on a sustainable basis and to continue producing most needed seeds as needed? Third, what would you like to read if you were a farmer? Only articles from public institutions? So, please read also sometimes what a farmer might read. At least, you may do a favour to your farmer uncle. Forth, in a country where food security is a huge headache, I think our top priority should be applying every means to ensure food self sufficiency. While many of our children are facing malnutrition, a perception that a European consumer might find a trace of GM in our honey should be the least of our worries. As long as this technology cut costs and offers solutions that cannot easily be achieved by conventional means, we should embrace it. The conventional means is not fully applied does not mean that we should pauze on other modern techniques. This is like advocating telegram while knowing that internet/email could do better. Hope to read a better insight next time from you. Just as another advise, you might benefit if you have breeders as your advisor, if you don’t have one yet on your project. All the best

      • Dear Teshome, you did not react to the fact raised by Tedros-” No body got hurt or no birds dropped from the sky”. I got sad when I see our educated citizen more concern to his own reputation instead of careing about his hardworking farmers.

  • In my view, this thorough analysis is a timely response. These cirticisms and comments are a valuble insights that help to assess and evaluate the overall situation. It gives us an opprtunity for all concerned citizen and professionals working around seed and agriculture production. It is a challenge that needs to be addresse now before we leave our children, grandchildren and the whole people in the country will be hveaily dependent on GMO production and its negative consquence on the health, natural resource, and genetic content our seeds. I heared many people they love their country and we ethiopian are so on so …..but after a while they disappear in the air if they get what they want personally, it is hard to see how they love thier country «people». Loving your country can be expresse by doing positive changes to your people, nothing more nothing less. So I will like to remained all my fellow citizen specially experts, directly or indirectly working on the issue needs to react now before they are too late. You need to debate and make changes when necessary, otherwise, your child, family, and country man will pay the price in the long term. Thanks

  • An introduction of GM crop to this pristine country and innocent environment? Oh, no Lo behold! This is a disaster and short-sighted policy in the making economically, evironmentally and agricultural stand point. Ever wonder why the USADA lobbied by gaint exploitative corporates like MONSANTO pushing so hard for decades for the introdution of GMO to Ethiopia and sub-sahara Africa? Altruism, human wellbeing , poverty and humanitarianism? Nada. It’s purely guided by own commercial and exploitative interests . Hunger, poverty, environs and public health are least interest to them. Now they got their evangelish cum market dabbler man on the ground. This naive and cultist political persona is ready to open the floodgates and it would seem to accept everything to satisfy the bottomless greed and evil policy of the western neoliberal doctrine to the death of a whole nation. Our only hope pinnes on the voices of the civil societies and few conscious intellectual individuals to hold on their ground since there are no functioning or competent legislative and legalistic institutions on the ground right now, not to mention the prevailing chaotic transition and confusing political situation

  • An introduction of GM crop to this pristine country and innocent environment? Oh, no Lo behold! This is a disaster and short-sighted policy in the making economically, evironmentally and agricultural stand point. Ever wonder why the USADA lobbied by gaint exploitative corporates like MONSANTO pushing so hard for decades for the introdution of GMO to Ethiopia and sub-sahara Africa? Ultarism, human wellbeing , poverty and Humanitarianism? Nada. It’s purely guided by commercial and exploitative interest . Hunger, poverty, environs and public health are least interest to them. Now they got their evangelish cum market dabbler man in the ground. This naive and cultist political persona is ready to open the floodgates and it would seem to accept everything to satisfy the bottomless greed and evil policy of the neoliberal doctrine to the death of a whole nation. Our only hope pinnes on the voices of the civil and society and few conscious intellectual individuals to hold their ground since there are no functioning/competent legislative and legalists institutions on the ground right now, not to mention the prevailing chaotic, transition and confusing political situation.

  • Utter nonsense. There is no valid reason to delay GMO usage whatsoever and any suggestion to the contrary is scientifically illiterate. Small-holder farms are obsolete and need to get out of the way already.

    • What country has benefited from GMO? the Europeans will not allow GMO into their food chain. There is no science showing its long term benefit, only it is a fake multinational selling fake product to uninformed poor nations

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