During his official visit to Ethiopia, President Barack Obama toured Faffa Foods highlighting why one of his signature policy initiatives – Feed the Future – is making a difference in Ethiopia but declined to take a question on whether genetically modified ingredients were involved in the production.
As President Obama was finalizing his five-day visit to Africa, he visited the factory floor to examine how the initiative is working on the ground.
Asked if there is enough money in Feed the Future, the President said: “We always want more, and we budgeted more. But what we’re able to do is to leverage the dollars that we’ve got alongside efforts from other countries and from the private sector.”
As a follow up question, the President was asked whether there are GMOs involved. “It’s not a full-blown press conference, Jeff. I gave you one, now. That’s all you get,” President said laughing.
Ethiopia has a strict GMO law which prohibits the import of genetically modified ingredients. In May this year, Ethiopia’s parliament has endorsed a controversial Bio-Safety amendment bill which eased restrictions on the use and import of GMOs in Ethiopia.
“A huge percentage of Africans are still getting their incomes from agriculture and most of them are very small plots, and not a lot of technology,” Obama told reporters. “But with just a few smart interventions, a little bit of help, they can make huge improvements in their overall yield.”
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