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December 13th, 2018 / Futurity

Bt corn could help farmers in Africa to combat an emerging pest capable of devastating their crops, but fear of GM crops in Africa has slowed adoption of the technology, says Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State and a coauthor of the study.

“My hope is that policymakers in Africa will take hold of this paper and implement this technology that’s been tested for many years,” Suza says. “There’s a real need for this in Africa.”

Bt corn is a transgenic organism altered by transferring a gene found in soil bacteria to corn plants to help the crop fight off insect pests such as the European corn borer. US farmers first received permission to plant Bt corn in 1996, and it accounted for 82 percent of US corn acreage in 2018, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Read more