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3-Food: Alternatives to GE crops in Zambia - Press release and video



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TITLE:  ALTERNATIVES TO GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN ZAMBIA
SOURCE: Zambian NGO Coalition
        sent by Friends of the Earth International
DATE:   Nov 27, 2002

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


ALTERNATIVES TO GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS IN ZAMBIA

Having rejected the consumption of genetically modified (GM) maize in food 
aid, the challenge that Zambians face is to find alternatives. A coalition 
of Zambian non-givernmental organizations (NGOs) is saying now that one of 
the solutions is actually within the country. They report that there are 
significant amounts of alternatives to GM maize within Zambia. One of the 
solutions they propose is to mobilise local alternative food crops from 
areas of surplus to those in need. On November 15, Zambian religious, 
hunger relief and women's groups issued an appeal to the world to help with 
this undertaking.

A Zambian NGO named the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection has 
produced a video showing how cassava, an abundant non-GMO African staple 
crop, is one alternative to corn. The video shows that in one province, 
alone, in the North of the country there are estimations of surplus of 
cassava of over 100.000 MT, which constitutes around 1/6 of the food 
deficit estimated in the country. In addition, there is still some locally, 
produced maize available in some parts of the country, just as there is 
surplus cassava in the northern parts of the country.

As recorded in the video, according to Dr. Dryna Nyiranda, an articulate 
spokesperson from Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) in Zambia, "we can 
move over 20000 MT of cassava within a month. If there is money available 
we can move a lot of material in a short time."

PAM has experience in food relief in Zambia of more than 10 years. This has 
clearly a great potential to make a significant contribution in the 
critical months of the famine expected to be between December and March. 
The coalition believes that if the project is supported many lives can be 
saved during the critical period on the horizon.

You can view a roughly digitized version of the video at www.foe.org/
foodaid.
(Real Player software and at least a 56k modem are needed.)
A copy of the written appeal is included below.

The coalition of Zambian NGOs is looking for international support on this 
project.

In the video appeal, Father Ignatius Mwembe from the Zambia Episcopal 
Council says on behalf of a coalition of Zambian groups that "International 
donors have generously donated to the WFP [World Food Programme] for the 
purchase of foods for Zambia. We now appeal that the funds mobilised should 
be utilise to source non GM food locally available".

------------------

Please share the appeal with others who might be in a position to respond.

Press Release

15 November 2002

APPEAL TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER IN SOME PARTS OF ZAMBIA

The food crisis in our country is real. There are brothers, sisters and 
friends within our country who are in dire need of food and yet there are 
areas in Zambia with surplus alternative food crops to maize.

Having rejected the consumption of genetically modified (GM) maize as a 
country, the challenge we have is to mobilise local alternative food crops 
from areas of surplus to those in need. There is still some locally, 
produced maize available in some parts of the country, just as there is 
surplus cassava in the northern parts of the country.

In response to the food crisis in our country, international donor agencies 
have generously donated finances through the World Food Programme (WFP) and 
other organisations for the purchase of food for Zambia. We now appeal that 
the funds mobilised should be utilised to source non-GM food locally 
available.

We the undersigned are also appealing to all Zambians, individuals and 
institutions, as well as well wishers to donate generously in cash or in

kind to this cause. At this critical stage we should stop looking only at 
Donor agencies elsewhere. Instead, we have to take responsibility of our 
situation as Zambians and mobilise the local surpluses as our frontline 
response strategy. We are convinced that we (Zambians and our friends 
living in Zambia) are generous people. We have demonstrated this in the 
past by responding to various disaster situations that affected our 
neighbourhood and beyond and including the most recent Mozambican floods.

Please make contributions through Citibank Lusaka Branch where all the 
listed Bank Accounts below are based.

Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ), Church House, Cairo road. P.O. Box 
30315, Lusaka, Zambia.
Telephone: 229551 and 224622. Fax: 224308. E- mail: ccz@zamnet.zm

Bank account numbers:
Kwacha account:  251057028
Foreign account: 251057036

OR

Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Plot number 8665 KAM Loops Road, 
P.O. Box 33862. Lusaka, Zambia.
Telephone: 292489 and 292663. E- mail: evafeza@zamnet.zm

Bank account numbers:
Kwacha account:  251260001
Foreign account: 251260028

(release with signatures continued on page 2 in a scanned file - this may 
be found at www.foe.org/foodaid)



 

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