The Open UniversitySkip to content

Agricultural biotechnology in southern Africa: A regional synthesis

Mnyulwa, Doreen and Mugwagwa, Julius (2005). Agricultural biotechnology in southern Africa: A regional synthesis. In: Omamo, Steven Were and von Grebmer, Klaus eds. Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Security in Southern Africa. Washington DC/Harare: International Food Policy Research Institute, pp. 13–36.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Version of Record)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region are employing various forms of biotechnological techniques in their agricultural, environmental management, forestry, medicine, and industry efforts, and have been since time immemorial. However, without doubt Africa is the region where biotechnologies are the least developed. There are many different explanations for this situation, but several schools of thought associate it with the perennial economic problems affecting the continent. From studies conducted by the Biotechnology Trust of Zimbabwe (BTZ) in 2001 and 2002, and studies by other organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and International Service for National Agricultural Research, it can be seen that the main area in which biotechnology techniques are being applied in southern African countries is agriculture, with the major thrust being crop improvement. Techniques such as tissue culture are being applied in almost all the countries, mainly because of the less intensive nature of this technique in terms of human and infrastructural resources. Modern biotechnological techniques, which include genetic engineering, are being employed in few of the countries, namely Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, and to a small extent in Mauritius and Zambia. Of all these countries, only South Africa has reached the commercialization stage insofar as products of genetic engineering are concerned. The rest are still at the laboratory research stage.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2005 International Food Policy Research Institute
ISBN: 0-89629-737-3, 978-0-89629-737-1
Keywords: agriculture; biotechnology; food security; southern Africa
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Institute for Innovation Generation in the Life Sciences (Innogen)
Item ID: 22550
Depositing User: Julius Mugwagwa
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2010 09:29
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 09:43
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU