Kenyan Farmers Call on the Gov't to Allow GM Products
Farmers from Kilifi County in the northern part of Kenya have voiced their support for agri-biotech and called on the government to lift the ban on GMOs so as to allow them access to products of modern biotechnology. In a communiqué developed at the end of a biotechnology and biosafety awareness seminar on July 9, 2015, farmers said that biotechnology could solve some of the agricultural challenges they face. They noted that the current impasse impedes their economic acceleration.
In a county where 350,000 people, mainly women and children, face starvation due to lack of food, the County Executive for Agriculture, Hon. Mwalimu Menza stressed the need for Kilifi County to adopt modern biotechnology. "The devolution of agriculture ensures Kilifi County government will give priority to farmers' concerns. We want to embrace biotechnology in Kilifi because we understand its potential benefits"
Scientists at the event took farmers through the basics of biotechnology, the on-going research in the country as well as Kenya's biosafety framework on agri-biotech.
"I would urge people concerned to let us farmers use new tools invented by our scientists to help us solve farming problems brought about by effects of climate change,'' said Mr. Dickson Kahidi, a farmer who has practiced farming for 20 years.
The event was organized by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Kenya in partnership with the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS), the Kilifi County Government and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).
For more information on the event, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair of the OFAB Programming Committee in Kenya.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)