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Crop Biotech Update

Kenya Seed Companies Urged to Go Biotech

November 25, 2011

The role of the seed industry is critical in ensuring successful commercialization of transgenic crops, Kenya's Agriculture Secretary, Dr. Wilson Songa, told representatives of seed companies at a biosafety and biotechnology awareness workshop held in Nairobi on November 17-18, 2011.

Noting that the seed is no doubt the most important input in agricultural production, Songa, urged the seed industry to take advantage of favorable biosafety environment in Kenya to produce and market genetically improved seeds to enable the country to improve its food security. Kenya is currently engaged in research and development of transgenic maize, cassava, papaya, sorghum, sweet potato and cotton, among others.

The forum was organized by Seed Trade Association of Kenya (STAK) and African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) to update seed companies on the status of modern crop biotechnology and biosafety regulations in Kenya. The Secretary General of AFSTA Justin Rakotoarisaona urged the seed companies to adopt modern biotechnology to remain competitive in the seed business. He said AFSTA supports responsible application of modern biotechnology to improve agricultural productivity and food security in Africa. The workshop was attended by about 40 seed companies operating in Kenya.

For more information, contact otunge@afsta.org.