Zimbabwe industry and farmers have urged government to adopt Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) production to ensure food security in the wake of ravaging drought in the country.
The Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) said Zimbabwe should do away with a GMO ban to attain food security.
“We will continue pushing for the embracing of GMO’s production using GMO technology for exports to be a starting point.
“We are to organise a seminar on agro-manufacturing that will focus on increasing grain reserves coverage in a bid to improve agricultural production locally," said CZI in the statement.
The ZFU information officer, Tinashe Kairiza weighed in saying Zimbabwe stands to benefit more y adopting GMO production.
“At the moment, we as a union are lobbying for any research that justifies the adoption of GMOs. Other countries have boosted their yields by adopting GMOs.
“For example, Burkina Fasso is now producing genetically modified cotton and that has boosted yields,” Kaizira added.
The Zimbabwe government, like most African countries, rejects genetically modified foods over safety fears.
President Robert Mugabe has condemned GMO’s as bad for Africa.
Mugabe says while GMOs were cheaper to produce, they were costly in the long-term as they contaminated the environment and harmed biodiversity.
Humanitarian organisations have said at least a quarter of the country's population are in urgent need of food aid between now and the next harvesti n April or they will starve.
Zimbabweans have virtually survived on food handouts from international relief agencies after Mugabe disrupted the key agriculture sector through his often violent land reforms six years ago.
Mugabe denies his land reforms caused the food shortages blaming the crisis on persistent droughts.