Cotton farmers in Busia expect good returns from hybrid variety

Written By: Allan Aoko

PHOTO. | Courtesy

Cotton farmers in Busia County have been urged to embrace high yielding pest-resistant BT cotton variety if they are to reap big in the coming harvest seasons.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Experts have advised farmers to shift to the new hybrid BT cotton variety from conventional cotton which has up to a 90 percent germination rate over their predecessors that have between 40-45% germination percentages.

According to researchers, BT cotton has been genetically modified to produce a protein that can kill the destructive insects that destroy cotton crops.

Also Read  Samburu County to set up oxygen plant at cost of Kshs. 25M

BT crops have been shown to reduce pesticide use. The hybrid variety contains traits for drought tolerance, which can help increase productivity on farms by an estimated 10%.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

Dr Charles Waturu, a lead scientist for BT Cotton research observed that the number of bolls realized from the fields is almost the same as what farmers are reporting that they arrived at during their research that recorded more than 40 bolls per plant.

Also Read  26 succumb as 991 test positive for Covid-19

Christopher Nduguli, one of the cotton farmers in Bukiri, Samia Sub County stated that the new BT variety has shown promising yield with capability of producing at least 80 bolls per plant.

Nduguli, a cotton farmer for the past 20 years, said this variety is pest resistant acknowledging that he sprayed only sprayed once as a routine.

Also Read  Leaders call on Govt to roll out mobile Covid-19 vaccination

Stakeholders are now in negotiation with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO) to start some trials to capacity build farmers to start producing hybrid seeds locally.

This will also ensure farmers are aware of what is involved in the production of hybrid cotton seeds and reduce importation of more seeds.

KBC-You-tube-728x90-New-2

Tell Us What You Think