Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mathew Mtigumwe, ordered the cessation of all field trial operations and the destruction of all “the remnants” of the trials at the Makutupora Centre in Dodoma, where trials were taking place. Projects affected are those functioning under the auspices of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project which include Monsanto, the Gates Foundation and national research centres.
This decision came after the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) released the results of the trials without the necessary authorisation, when it invited certain members of the public, including the well-known pro GM lobbyist, Mark Lynas, to witness how ‘well’ the GM crops were performing.
Collusion between biotech lobbyists and GM researchers paid by the Gates Foundation and others, Mark Lynas’s unethical social media hype which uses Tanzania’s smallholder farmers in an instrumentalist way as a means to justify the introduction of GMO crops in the country, by claiming that Tanzanians are poor and hungry have led to this order by the Tanzanian government.
The biotech setup in Tanzania and elsewhere has supported a well-funded media campaign to spread pro GM propaganda and to push for the adoption of GM maize in the country, despite the questionable benefits for smallholder farmers.