GMOs in South Africa: Benefits of biotech crops changing women farmers’ minds

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As a young girl, Tepsy Eve Ntseoane never thought she’d grow up to be a farmer, let alone an advocate for agricultural biotechnology.

In her first year, Ntseoane yielded around one ton per hectare. The second year was about the same. Thinking that she must have done something wrong, she nearly abandoned maize altogether in favor of raising chickens.

tepsy ntseoane e
Tepsy Eve Ntseoane

It was around then that she was introduced to AfricaBio, a stakeholders’ association promoting the use of biotechnology in agriculture. Ntseoane initially had her doubts about growing GMO crops on her land.

“At first I was resistant due to some of the negative stories about biotechnology that are out there, like hearing that some people develop cancer and stuff,” she said.

After being persuaded to plant biotech seeds on one hectare of land, that resistance quickly faded away.

“Guess what? I saw the results and since then I’ve never turned back and I’m now a firm believer in biotechnology,” Ntseoane said, adding that her current yields of seven tons per hectare have changed her life by providing the needed income to expand into beef cattle management.

As for those safety concerns, Ntseona said she’s “a living testimony” to the “myth” that biotech seeds pose a threat.

Read full, original post: South African farmer offers ‘living testimony’ to safety of biotech

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