GMOs: A More Efficient Source of Food

African woman harvesting GMO corn

GMOs in The United States are a controversial topic of interest; however, many farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have switched over to GMO crops because the potential benefits are so strong. 1 African farmers have embraced the technology that has already proved itself to lower the cost of production while producing a greater yield. GMO seeds tend to cost a little more but they will not need as much tending over their lifespan. This is a great relief to small time African farmers who would normally have to worry about not only the cost of pesticides but the time needed to spray them.

A farmer living in Sub-Saharan Africa has a lot to worry about. With the addition of GMO crops the farmer has a lot less tending to do in order to obtain more crop. With GMO crops the farmer can experience up to a 200% increase in yield, this means that the farmer can potentially sell more products and lower his/her prices so that customers can buy more products (Mcdivitt,2018). If prices are lowered more people, who were previously too poor, will have the ability to purchase the crops. If the farmer Is able to sell more crops and make more money they will be able to spend more money than they were usually, this is stimulating the economy.

Farmers are also saving money of the crops over time. If the farmer has to spray pesticides on their crops 7-12 times during a growing season they are spending way more than necessary. A GMO crop tends to only need to be sprayed 2 times a growing season. This doesn’t seem like a big savings until you think of the size of these farms. If a farm is spraying 1000 plants over the course of a season and those plants need to be sprayed 8 times that is a lot of pesticide used. The pesticide sprayed is only in a fine mist but over the course of an entire field multiple gallons cold be used for each application. When spraying is cut down to a quarter of what it used to be it can translate into huge savings for the farmer.

GMO crops do cost more for the initial purchase and some farmers are apprehensive about paying more for a crop they haven’t grown before. When these farmers see that the potential yield and operating costs are exponentially change they do tend to think twice.

 

1Bouscaren, D (2016, October 4) Will St. Louis-Grown GMOs Help East African Farmers Avoid Food Shortages? It’s Complicated. Illinois public media.

Mcdivitt, Paul 2018, February 19, www.geneticliteracyproject.org

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