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February 14th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

When will Egypt again lead Africa in agricultural biotech innovation? That question kept running through my mind when I visited the North African country late last year to participate in the United Nation’s annual biodiversity conference.

Egypt has a rich history and has always led social and technological advancements in the world. It’s believed to be one of the two places on earth where civilization — defined as the process of human beings taking charge of their natural environments and carefully developing them into planned societies with clear cultural and social structures — began before spreading to the rest of the world.

Egypt is also one of the areas where commercial agricultural production was born as ancient occupants of the land developed irrigation facilities along the River Nile to grow wheat, barley and other staple crops.  And Egypt’s history of applying innovation to ensure food security dates to biblical times, when it stored more than enough food for its own citizens and was able to feed the rest of the world during famine. Read more