Former US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture says Africa doesn't need GM
More on the Economist piece Rominger is responding to here:
An agricultural giant
The Economist (print edition), December 10 2009
SIR - As usual, Monsanto puts the cart before the horse when talking about agricultural development in Africa ("The parable of the sower", November 21st). Rather than "high tech" seeds, it is more important that farmers in developing countries first have a supporting infrastructure: markets, especially local markets, farm-to-market roads, credit, land tenure and agricultural services. Studies by both the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Rodale Institute, an early pioneer in organic production, show that Africa could feed itself with local, organic production. The intensive organic farms that I am familiar with, that do it right, produce more human nutrition per hectare than the extensive monoculture that Monsanto has promoted in America and elsewhere.
Yes, organic farms require more human labour, but in most developing countries that is not a problem. Without this basic infrastructure, the farmers will remain impoverished and reliant on international corporations for their seeds and pesticides.
Deputy secretary, 1993-2001
United States Department of Agriculture