In this research article, Victor Konde of the University of Zambia argues that industrial biotechnologies can improve food security in Africa through improved livestock feeds and vaccines, as well as biotechnological pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides. He adds that biotechnology can also help farmers process crop and livestock products for new markets.

But Africa must first overcome a number of key challenges, says Konde — including restrictions on agricultural exports, weaknesses in scientific capacity and investment, and a lack of diplomatic strength to effectively promote its interests in international negotiations.

The author proposes ways for African policymakers to encourage biotech enterprise and investment, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, strategic alliances and public–private partnerships.