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Mozambique Turns to Biotechnology to Boost Agricultural Production

Mozambique Turns to Biotechnology to Boost Agricultural Production

The Mozambican government intends to boost and increase the country’s agricultural production and productivity by investing in scientific research, the Agência de Informação de Moçambique (AIM) reported on Monday 29 January.

The agency says that the government’s intention is due to the fact that around 70 per cent of the Mozambican population lives off agriculture and 26 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from that sector.

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The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Daniel Nivagara, who was speaking in Maputo at the opening of the workshop on Strengthening Institutional Capacity in Biotechnology, said that “we must ensure that the desired advances in the agricultural sector are sustained by scientific research that is adjusted and appropriate to the current challenges facing national agriculture”.

“We have a clear understanding of the institutional duty and expectations that society has of us in order to pursue the goal of increasing the provocation and productivity rates of our agriculture,” added Daniel Nivagara.

The source explained that in the search for solutions for national agriculture based on scientific research, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) wants to join forces with the positive reports coming from various parts of the world, including Africa, about the notorious advances made in agriculture with the use of different biotechnology technologies.

According to the minister, Mozambique is looking for solutions in national agriculture to, on the one hand, guarantee an increase in production and productivity and, on the other, provide a response to the biotic adversities (pests and diseases) and abiotic adversities (tolerance to drought, salinity and thermal fluctuations) that have plagued the various agricultural subsystems.

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On the occasion, Daniel Nivagara emphasised that any activity that helps to support and accelerate the growth of the agricultural sector is of capital importance for the country, especially in the global context of population growth and profound climate change.

He added that it was “crucial that the search for solutions using biotechnology be a harmonised process on the part of the bodies that deal with agriculture at continental level”.

The director of the National Centre for Biotechnology and Biosciences (CNBB), Alsace Atanasio, said that the event was aimed at stimulating or introducing the adoption of genomic editing to optimise agriculture on the continent. “This event is also aimed at strengthening institutional capacities in biotechnology research and, to this end, we need to know what the situation is, what current capacities higher education institutions have,” she said.

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