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Climate change and food security: the role of biotechnology

The negative effects of climate change on agriculture and food security depend not only on changing climate conditions, but also on the agricultural sector’s ability to adapt through changes in technology and demand for food. This paper argues that eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 will require both regional and global research efforts, as well as concrete actions among which biotechnology adoption plays a key role. The paper reviews research on climate change and the increasing food insecurity situation in sub-Saharan Africa, and the significance of plant biotechnology in reversing this trend. To move plant biotechnology forward, it recommends that African countries institutionalise effective bio-safety regulatory frameworks and commit resources to capacity building and provision of infrastructure for biotechnology development. Researchers should also engage in education and communication with the general public to enhance adoption of biotechnological products in Africa.