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Crop Biotech Update

Kenyan Maize and Cotton Farmers Petition for Bt Maize and Bt Cotton Seeds

May 10, 2017

Amid the prevailing drought and army worms' invasion in Kenya, farmers have petitioned the government to avail of Bt cotton and Bt maize seeds for planting. One of their leaders from the Central region, Mr. Mugo Magondu, voiced out their question about why farmers in Kenya should continue to face these challenges while modern agricultural technology can provide a solution. He said this during a farmer's agri-biotechnology and biosafety sensitization forum held on April 28, 2017.

Mr. Jackson Omwoyo, a maize farmers group chair expressed his concern on the notable push and pull among government ministries and regulatory agencies that are delaying the adoption of agri-biotechnology. "There is a technology that has been developed to benefit the public. If you don't trust the information provided locally, why not send a team to the countries already growing these crops to see how it is done for us to adopt the same here in Kenya?"

The forum, which was co-organized by ISAAA AfriCenter, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB Kenya) and the Program for Biosafety Systems, was also graced by representatives from Agricultural Food Authority, National Biosafety Authority, Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization, and universities.

For more details, send an e-mail to ISAAA AfriCenter Director, Dr. Margaret Karembu at mkarembu@isaaa.org.