Brazilian Journal of Biological Sciences (ISSN 2358-2731)

Home Archive v. 4, no. 8 (2017) Makinde


Vol. 4, No. 8, p. 233-246 - Dec. 31, 2017


Bioprocess engineering and genetically modified foods: tackling food insecurity in Africa

Oluwadamilola Matthew Makinde , Osebhahiemen Odion Ikhimiukor and Stephen Fapohunda

Bioprocess engineering today has made tremendous discoveries principally aimed at improving the overall quality of living of any society. Significant of these discoveries is the cultivation of genetically modified foods (GM foods). This paper discusses the problem of food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the practicability of GM foods in ameliorating this problem. In SSA, food security is currently being threatened by several factors ranging from natural systems that cause environmental deterioration such as floods and droughts to anthropogenic exacerbations ranging from poor land and agricultural management policies; increase in social and economic inequality; terrorism, civic unrest, strife and wars and rapid population growth and demographic changes, amongst others. Drawbacks to the poor food security in SSA is majorly associated with malnutrition and corresponding loss in human capita productivity in the region. Statistics currently portray that one in four persons in Africa is undernourished. Hence, the timely need for disruption in current trends is imperative. The growth of GM foods has seen an exponential increase worldwide, with over 179.7 million hectares being planted, this trend is however very poor in SSA. The pros, cons and hindrances influencing the use of GM foods in SSA have been discussed. It is the opinion of the authors that the use of Biotech improved foods in curbing the food crisis in SSA should be explored and committed to by the African Union, alongside amendment of policies that promulgate weaknesses of agricultural institutional in African Nations.

Bioprocess engineering; Genetically modified foods; Food security; Sub-Saharan Africa; Malnutrition.


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