Not enough is known about the potential risks of genetically modified crops for Southern Africa to embrace the controversial technology, according to scientists and government officials attending a conference at Victoria Falls this week.
Zimbabwean and other scientists concluded that despite the food shortages facing countries in the region - Zimbabwe among them - more research is needed to ensure the safety of genetically modified seeds and other organisms.
Reverend Forbes Matonga, national director of Christian Care, which organized the conference, said the Harare government has recommended that all grain be milled outside the country so modified grain cannot be planted within Zimbabwe.
Harare continues to block the entry of genetically modified food from countries such as the United States and South Africa. The use of genetically modified organisms in farming is also banned as research and debate continues.
Matonga told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that all of the countries in Southern Africa with the exception of South Africa share the view that caution is warranted on genetically modified crops until the verdict is in.