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Crop Biotech Update

KARI: GM Cotton to be Released in Kenya by 2014

March 2, 2012

Scientists at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) are anticipating the approval of the National Biosafety Authority for the field testing of genetically modified cotton. According to Charles Waturu, director of KARI's Thika center, their study has proven that GM cotton could help lessen the production costs of farmers. With GM cotton, the number of insecticide sprays could be decreased from 12 to 3 times, said Waturu.

"We have identified 06k485, 06k486 and 06k487 as the best cotton varieties from which we shall develop the GM cotton. The seeds will be multiplied and Kenya will be the regional supplier of these seeds that will be superior compared to the current ones in the market," he told a biotechnology forum organized by the University of Nairobi and the Ministry of Agriculture in Kisumu.

KARI scientists expect that GM cotton commercialization will start in Kenya by 2014.

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