Zimbabwe needs to conduct its own Bt cotton field trials to independently verify the merits and demerits of genetically modified crop varieties suitable to the country’s local conditions, a farmer group representative says.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union president Mrs Monica Chinamasa who was leading a delegation of farmer representatives on study tour at Chitala Agricultural Research Station in Salima where Malawian scientists were conducting confined Bt cotton field trials said the country needed to be open to new agricultural technologies.
“I’m very impressed with the Bt cotton trials being done here in Malawi. As farmers we are looking for new technological innovations which can improve our yields, crop disease resistance, cut costs and improve our earnings,” she said.
“Honestly, after this study tour, I don’t see why Zimbabwe should not embrace GMO crops such as cotton. We must allow our scientists to conduct field trials for Bt cotton so that we can see the advantages and disadvantages on our own.”
Salima is about 65km east of Lilongwe.