Tanzania’s second year of confined field trials of genetic modified maize is bearing fruit, as the crop has significantly shown signs of withstanding stem borer and fall armyworm attacks, compared to conventional maize varieties.
The confined field trials (CFT), which started in April 2016, are located in the semiarid area of Makutupora in Dodoma Region, to assess the potential of maize varieties to produce high yields in semi-arid conditions.
Speaking to reporters and farmers who recently visited CFT site, Senior Agricultural Research Officer, Dr Justin Ringo said that the genetic modified organism (GMO) maize that is resistant to drought and insects would benefit Tanzanian farmers, if the government reviews laws and regulations to allow the commercialization of Biotech maize seed in the country.
The Senior Researcher added that both insect resistant and herbicide tolerant crops have helped to improve yields, cut costs, and enable more targeted pesticide applications …. In October , transgenic hybrids showed higher yields to 8.3 -58.0 per cent than their conventional counterparts.
Not only does that improve farmers’ bottom lines, but it also helps lessen agriculture’s impact on the environment. He pointed out that overall, pesticide applications have decreased, largely due to the adoption of insect-resistant genetically modified crops.
Read full, original article: Opening Doors to GM Maize Vital to Improve Yields, Curb Hunger