Crop Biotech Update

Farmers in Kenya Support Government Plan to Lift Ban on Biotech Crops

September 16, 2015

Farmers and the youth from South and North Rift Counties of Kenya have voiced their support for the Government's plan to lift the ban on GM food importation. Speaking at functions organized to sensitize them on issues concerning biotech crops in Kericho and Uasin Gishu Counties, farmers said that they supported the Deputy President who said that the Government will lift the ban in the coming weeks. They commended the Government, noting that it has invested heavily in modern biotechnology research. "We ask the Government to fast-track the lifting of the ban and make the technology available for us, as this will lead to job creation for our young people," they said.

Kericho County Governor, Prof. Paul Chepkwony said, this county is ready to embrace agri-biotechnology and urged for more sensitization activities to ensure that farmers can make informed choices. " Africa is faced with a lot of challenges to food security and genetic engineering is a sure way out for them," Prof. Chepkowny added.

On his part, Dr. Ambrose Cheruiyot, County Executive of Agriculture in Uasin Gishu County, noted that the area which is the breadbasket of the country, had declined maize production in the recent seasons. He said that the County Government is ready to adopt technologies that would reverse this trend. Dr. Eliud Kireger, Director General of Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) assured the participants of the safety of biotech crops and of the country's capacity in handling the technology.

The event was organized by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB-Kenya) in collaboration with Cereal Growers Association (CGA) and other partners.

For more information on the event, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu, ISAAA AfriCenter Director and OFAB Kenya Chairperson at mkarembu@isaaa.org.