The government of Zimbabwe has said that it is reconsidering the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) crops across various value chains in the agricultural sector.
This decision, it said, was as a result of the drought which had held the country food sector bound for years.
Genetic engineering of crops is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genes using biotechnology.
It can be done by controlled or selective breeding of plants and animals to enable them to withstand harsh weather conditions like extreme heat or cold temperatures.
The Zimbabwean government had previously placed a ban on the practice of genetically modifying plants or animals to avert both health and the environmental effect it may have.
Citizens’ exposure to allergic responses, undesired side effects such as toxicity, organ damage and gene transfer, among others, are reasons why it was frowned upon by the government.
Speaking on GMO, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube while presenting the 2021 Budget Strategy Paper revealed that the country has reconsidered the implementation of genetic modification.
“The impact of climatic changes and reliance on old agricultural methods over the years requires us to revisit our technologies with a view of enhancing production and productivity.
“This includes the necessity of adopting modern alternative technologies including tissue culture as well as further assessments of GMOs, through vigorous debate that examines the merits and demerits of genetic engineering,” he said.