A joke that is going around refers to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as “nothing going on.”
My experience over a 15-year period of studying, interacting with and experiencing NGO activities in my country, Uganda, has proven the joke to be spot-on, apart from those genuinely fighting or advocating for the protection of human and child rights. The NGOs that have emerged to fight against the transformation of agriculture are really up to the nasty mission of stagnating agricultural development in Africa, and developing countries in general.
Why? Because a focus on these NGOs …. are hell-bent on selfishly opposing application of advanced scientific techniques or better methods of breeding crops/plants — particularly modern biotechnology …. aimed at introducing drought-tolerant, disease- and pest-resistant and biofortified crops to our countries.
If I may ask: are the challenges the breeders advance real or imagined? If they are real, should they be solved? If yes, who should solve them, scientists or NGO activists? And when these challenges are solved via genetic engineering (GE), does the product honestly become synthetic, unnatural or inorganic?
Because the NGOs provide no alternative, science must pro-actively, unwaveringly and solidly move forward. For instance, the genetically modified Bt maize and Bt cotton enables farmers to reduce the spray of pesticides by close to 40 percent. In Uganda, both technologies have been successfully developed ….
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