Are farmers forced to buy GMO seeds?
NO! Farmers have a lot of decisions to make, including what products to buy to protect the crop from pests and what crops will best help them grow nutritious food for their families and for the market. Government agencies and international development organizations are developing genetically engineered crops such as rice, bananas and eggplant that can deliver these benefits in seeds and cuttings. These agencies provide these crops for free so they can be saved and used every year, putting the power in farmer's hands.
Rice, wheat and corn are the world's most popular crops and are food staples in many parts of the world. Advances in these crop varieties can have significant benefits to people in developing countries.
Crops such as the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have the potential to benefit millions of people, especially children, who are the most susceptible to lack Vitamin A.
Banana is a staple food in some countries and Xanthomonas Wilt of Bananas is a complex problem affecting the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farms, and threatening food security in countries such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cultivars genetically modified to be resistant to the Xanthomonas bacterium using a gene from sweet pepper have been developed and tested in field trials. If successful and approved for use, this could have a big impact on the banana industry in Uganda.