The Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu, has announced that his ministry has initiated the process of reviewing the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 in order to strengthen the application of biotechnology and biosafety in Zambia. This move has the potential to greatly benefit Zambian farmers, who make up a significant portion of the country’s population and economy.
According to the minister, a draft policy has already been developed and is currently undergoing a validation process. Once finalized, this policy will provide a legal framework for addressing challenges related to biotechnology and other related issues. The aim of this policy is to strengthen the application of biotechnology and biosafety in Zambia, which will help in finding solutions to challenges in agriculture, medicine, environment, and industrial applications.
It is important to note that biotechnology is already being used in some neighbouring countries such as Malawi, where genetically modified cotton has been commercialized. With the implementation of a new biotechnology and biosafety policy, Zambian farmers can also benefit from the advantages of biotechnology, such as improved productivity and the production of quality medicines.
In addition to improving the lives of people, biotechnology can also help combat emerging diseases, which have been a major challenge in Zambia in recent years. With the development of new biotechnology research, scientists and researchers in Zambia will have the potential to develop new solutions to combat these emerging diseases.
Furthermore, biotechnology has the potential to provide answers to some of the environmental challenges that Zambia is currently facing, such as climate change. With the implementation of a new biotechnology and biosafety policy, farmers will be able to use new techniques to improve the sustainability of their farms, which will have a positive impact on the environment.
The National BioSafety Authority Chief Executive Officer, Lackson Tonga, has emphasized the potential benefits of biotechnology, stating that it is one of the tools that may provide answers to some of the environmental challenges the country is facing today.
In conclusion, the review of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 has the potential to be a game-changer for Zambian farmers, who can benefit greatly from the application of biotechnology in their farming practices. With a legal framework in place, farmers will have access to new tools and techniques that will improve productivity, sustainability, and the quality of their products. This will ultimately lead to socio-economic development and an improved quality of life for Zambians.