RODNEY Kurai Mushongachiware, Zimbabwean youth representative to the forthcoming Global Youth Ag Summit in Canada, has called on the country to embrace genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology to ensure food security.
Mushongachiware (22) was selected to represent Zimbabwe at the summit which kicks off today after his essay on food security was adjudged as the best in the country.
GMO food is banned in Zimbabwe, but perennial droughts have sparked debate as to whether government should not allow its importation to address food shortage challenges.
Mushongachiware — who studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Zimbabwe and is still awaiting results — told NewsDay last week that the week-long meeting to be held at Calgary, Alberta, would be attended by 120 delegates from 24 countries and 25 mentors.
The purpose of the summit, to run under the theme Feeding a Hungry Planet, is to explore the role of youths in solving global food security challenges.
“In line with the theme, I will obviously be interested in issues dealing with GMO technology and how it can assist countries like Zimbabwe facing food security problems,” he said.
“It’s something that we really have to look at as a country. It is also important that we do not look at youths as a challenge to society, but integrate them into such sectors as agriculture and involve them in decision-making in such areas.”
Mushongachiware said Zimbabwe was not alone in facing food production challenges as a result of the growing population.
“In November 2011, the United Nations declared that the planet’s population surpassed 7 billion people and by 2050, experts predict an additional two billion people will need healthy food and nutrition yet agricultural production growth is linear,” he said.
“No one person, company or nation holds the answer, but through discussion, collaboration and innovation, youths know groundbreaking agricultural solutions can be found, acted upon and achieved.”