THE Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) has certified that all the maize that the country exported in 2013, was free of any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
ZARI chief agriculture Officer Mweshi Mukanga also said the seed that Government has delivered to farmers in the ongoing crop farming season, is free of GMOs.
Dr Mukanga said in an interview in Ndola that the country has successfully eliminated all forms of GMO organisms to enhance local maize production.
“The grain was all tested at Mount Makulu Resource Centre and the tests were all negative, meaning that the farmers have been availed quality grain to enhance productivity and the country has also exported superior maize,” he said.
Dr Mukanga said the country was assured of food security because the maize being grown by farmers this season is bred locally using conventional farming methods.
He however, said in 2014, farmers should diversify from growing maize to other crops such as rice and millet, to mitigate hunger and sustain national food security.
“Zambia enjoys 70 per cent of the water bodies in the southern Africa region and if the country can diversify crop farming, the country would attain and sustain quick food security,” Dr Mukanga said.
He said in view of the current climate changes, ZARI has invested in irrigation schemes to help the small-scale farmers enhance crop productivity.