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Malawi President to promote GM crop adoption

The new Malawian President has called for the adoption of biotechnology in agriculture, national newswire Nyasa Times reports. In her maiden “state of the nation” address, Joyce Banda said that her government would encourage innovation adaptation “by promoting and supporting genetic modification in agriculture”. She listed benefits to be gained from adoption: farmers not being “troubled to weed their gardens”; lower pesticide needs; and improving soil carbon and moisture content. Ms Banda also noted that whereas some 1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed in the past fiscal year, the government will raise that to 5 million this year. It is extending provisions to the whole population rather than just pregnant women, and under five-year-olds, under previous policy. Malawi has passed biosafety legislation but only field trials have as yet been approved ( Agrow No 634, p 15).

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