Africa faces several constraints in harnessing the benefits of biotechnology - these include lack of adequate funds, loss of trained technical expertise, slow development of the biotechnology sector, inadequate intellectual property rights infrastructure, and government not taking a more active role in promoting the technology. Diran Makinde, director of the West African Biosciences Network (WABNet), Senegal, and colleagues forward these thoughts in Status of Biotechnology in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities published in the Biotechnology in Africa issue of the Asian Biotechnology and Development Review.
"Agricultural biotechnology alone will not solve the multitude of problems that farmers in Africa face; however, it has the potential to make crop breeding and crop management systems more efficient thereby generating improved crop varieties and higher yields," the authors wrote. To develop biotechnology in Africa they suggest the following: more coordination between strategic policy making in sustainable agriculture and agricultural research; political will and commitment to use the tools of biotechnology; regulatory frameworks that will work; and enhancement of public understanding and acceptance of products.
More information, contact Diran Makinde at: firstname.lastname@example.org.