The Importance Of Food Security In Sub-Saharan Africa

750 Words 3 Pages
The improved quality of life GMOs provide is not limited to rare cases. Another case, examined in an Economic Research Service study, reveals that GM soybeans produce a net value of roughly $17 more per planted acre than traditional soybean crops (Economic). Globally, farmers who have adopted GMOs have cumulatively gained $116.6 billion in increased income between 1996 and 2012. Of this net economic benefit, 60 percent is due to increased crop yields. The remaining 40 percent was achieved through off-farm household income, which only existed because an increase in land productivity leaves farmers with more time to work outside the farm. For those living in food insecure conditions, GMOs provide the only feasible way to improve quality of life …show more content…
The Center for Strategic and International Studies notes that agricultural productivity and the use of GMOs are necessary to meet the continent’s needs for food security (“Benefits”). The area is constantly plagued by variability of climate, degradation of soil and water resources, pests, and crop diseases. These restrictions on food security in sub-Saharan Africa necessitate increasing the productivity of the available arable land. That in turn can only be solved by the unique increased yield and climate-resistant qualities of GM crops. In Africa and the food-insecure world at large, GMOs are essential to escape food insecure poverty and prevent a loss of …show more content…
Many opponents of GMOs state that simply planting more organic crops would solve food security problems. If GMOs are not essential to food security, replacing all GMO production with organic production should not significantly affect the world’s foreseeable food security. However, this is not the case. GMOs, through their unique benefits of higher yields in fewer hectares, are an established part of the current global food trade. The impact of GMOs on food trade is best exemplified by the agricultural exports of the US. In the 2013 to 2014 financial year, the US exported 11 percent of its maize, contributing to a substantial 39 percent of the world’s maize exports ("Corn"). In that year, 89 percent of all maize produced in the US was consumed domestically – 90 percent of which was genetically modified ("USA 2013"). The other top two maize exporters, Brazil and Argentina, are also GMO-dominated. If GM maize crops were replaced with non-GMO equivalents, then the world would need to dedicate significantly more land to the cultivation of maize to compensate for the lost productivity. The possibility that this change will occur is doubtful. In the short term, it might be possible for more land to be used for agriculture. However, avoiding GMOs is inconceivable in the long term as the population will continue to increase exponentially. The land needed to support that population without GMOs will inevitably

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