Mozambique’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM) is harvesting the country’s first genetically modified maize (GM maize), which has been grown in a test field of Chókwè research station in the southern province of Gaza.
The aim of the trial and introducing GM maize is to assist producers with drought-resistant and insect-tolerant seeds, should the results be positive. The tests are being conducted in an area of about 0,25 hectares, using 14 varieties of GM maize.
Focus on pest and drought resistance
The first trial focuses on pest resistance while the second trial, which is expected to be sown later this year, drought varieties of maize will be tested.
Research is under the aegis of IIAM, a governmental institution responsible for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, which includes Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda through their own agricultural research institutes.
Testing of genetically modified maize from the United States is part of WEMA, an agricultural research project to develop new varieties for drought tolerance and insect resistance.
Mozambique already consumes GM products imported from countries such as Brazil and South Africa, without any negative impact on both human health and environment, according to the national authorities working on bio-safety