Biotech Updates

Kenyan County Executives of Agriculture Vouch for Bt cotton

October 7, 2015

Two Kenyan County Executive Committee members for Agriculture expressed their support for the introduction of biotech cotton in the sub-region. This was after a study tour of India's biotech cotton sub-sectors including research, farmers' fields, seed production facilities, and cotton seed oil processing. The study tour, conducted on September 27 to October 2, 2015, aimed at exposing African stakeholders to the Indian Bt cotton farming experiences, as well as the country's biotech crop regulation and commercialization processes. Led by the Chairman of the 47 County Executives for Agriculture Dr. Moses Mwanje from Western region and Mwalimu Menza of Costal Kilifi county, they committed to sharing the lessons to their respective county and national governments to emulate India's model of technology deployment.

During the tour, the two applauded the strong stewardship program facilitated by both public and private sector partners to ensure optimal benefits. Mwanje said, "I salute the Indian Government for actively engaging farmers in education about Bt cotton, thus safeguarding product integrity and adherence to appropriate management practices." On his part, Menza acknowledged the potential of biotech cotton in job creation for the youth and full utilization of marginal lands prevalent in the Coastal region. "The partnerships we have seen here with value-chain actors guarantee farmers reap maximum benefits and through processing of cotton seed into cooking oils and feed, improve livelihoods in the rural areas," he said.

The two ministers were part of a 30-member delegation from 6 African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Swaziland, and Zambia) who joined the Indian educational tour. It was co-organized by ISAAA AfriCenter and South Asia Biotechnology Center in partnership with COMESA/ACTESA, OFAB-Kenya, Mahyco-India PBS, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

For more on this event and biotech developments in Africa and India, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu of ISAAA AfriCenter at, or Mr. Bhagirath Choudhary of South Asia Biotechnology Center at