Africa requires biotechnological progress

| Foreign Markets |

Owing to Africa’s diversity of geographical conditions and ecosystems, as well as exposure to climatic changes, the continent requires constant implementation of scientific discoveries. Thanks to up-to-date biotechnology, the local agriculture may develop faster.

Suitable choice of crops

African farmers do need modern fertilizers, irrigation systems and machinery which facilitates labor in the fields. However, scientists believe that the most suitable strategy for farmers on this continent is the popularization of crops which will be relatively immune to diseases, or which will require less water during the development and growth. Due to the fact that the population of Africa continues to rise, such solutions are needed as soon as possible. If they are adopted, it may be possible to improve food supply safety and terminate the reliability on foodstuffs imported from other continents.

Nothing like local

Most African plantations are wheat or maize-based, despite the potential of indigenous cereals. Those are seen to thrive in the wild, and are known to have features which allow them to survive in the demanding, diversified climate and soil conditions on the continent. Logically, biotechnological research should focus on domesticating local species, whose potential has remained untapped, rather than on creating new kinds of cereals that could bring plentiful yields in African conditions.

Within a hand’s reach

One of Africa’s icons, the baobab, serves as an example of making insufficient use of local plants. The tree is associated with its characteristic shape, impressive size and longevity. It has much more to offer, though. The baobab is full of nutrients and has edible leaves and seeds. The baobab fruit contains twice as much calcium as milk, and six times as much vitamin C as oranges. Also, seeds of the tree are used to press oil, while fruit peelings serve as animal fodder. Basing on this example, we need to admit that domesticating local species of plants is an huge opportunity for African agricultural manufacturers.