The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Information
Network (USDA FAS-GAIN) released their report on Mozambique's agricultural
biotechnology sector status for 2018. It highlights the initial results of
the Mozambican Agricultural Research Institute's genetically engineered (GE)
corn confined field trials. The trials are set to be done in two stages.
With the first stage completed, data gathered after two planting seasons
showed that the GE corn was effective against the spotted stem borer/stalk
borer and also the fall armyworm. The second stage is set to be conducted
without irrigation to test the GE corn's resistance to drought. The GE corn
trials are part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) program, a
public-private partnership effort that aims to develop pest and drought
tolerant corns using biotechnology and conventional breeding.
Another highlight of USDA FAS' report is the Mozambican government's
acknowledgment of biotechnology's contribution to achieve the country's food
and nutritional security, as well as the importance of the having
appropriate regulations to support biotechnology research and development.
Currently, the Gruppo Inster-Institutional Sobre Bio-Seguranca (GIBBS) is
tasked to serve as the National Biosafety Committee. The committee regularly
meets with public and private sector representatives to coordinate biosafety
activities in Mozambique, and to update regulations pertaining to the
research and development of GE crops.