Hunger, poverty and rural farming: ethical discussion on genetically modified crops in ethiopiN context
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Countries use agricultural biotechnology to benefit their communities. Many Ethiopians suffer from hunger and famine. Consecutive drought has been causing havoc to the environment. If the implementation of modern agricultural biotechnology is capable of giving more food, then there will be considerable benefits. The country needs sufficient food to feed its growing population. Famine has been striking the country for many years. People in millions do not have enough food to satisfy their basic nutritional needs. The situation is intolerable. Food supplies have not substantially increased. Besides, there are constraints on access to food products. There is imbalance between demand and supply. Natural and man-made disasters prevented food demands from being fulfilled. The problems of hunger and food insecurity are persistent and increasing in different parts of the country. Ethiopia needs to promote safe agricultural biotechnology for food. It also needs to raise evels of nutrition, secure improvements in the efficiency of production and fair distribution of food and agricultural products, and to make the life conditions of rural and urban people better. The application of genetic engineering to food production is aimed at improving the quantity and quality of food. Genetic modification is one of the controversial technologies in the contemporary world. As a result, some people take a skeptical attitude towards the new technology. The unknown risks raise questions of justice, rights, safety, etc. Ethiopia needs to know the values and risks at stake before using the technology. Keeping a non-polluted environment for the coming eneration is a central issue. Small-scale farmers in Ethiopia know little about the new genetically engineered crops. Thus, applying precautionary principle before releasing Genetically Modified crops into the food chain and the environment is of paramount significance since the country lacks the necessary expertise to tackle the long-term consequences.