Commercialization of hybrid BT cotton variety approved

Written By: Judith Akolo

GMO cotton seeds would be availed to farmers following the move by the government to approve commercialization of genetically modified cotton.

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According to the latest 2019 draft budget policy statement, hybrid BT cotton will boost production due to its resistance to bollworm which has adversely affected yields from the traditional breeds in the past.

The Big Four Agenda is expected to help boost job creation under the manufacturing sector, ensure food security and improved nutrition, achieve universal health coverage and provide affordable houses to Kenyans.

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At the same time, favorable weather patterns in 2018 have given “The Big Four Agenda” the much needed boost as the government plans to realize food security takes shape.

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The Government plans to increase maize production from 40 to 67 million 90kg bags per annum, increase rice production from 112,800 to 406,486 metric tons; raise potato production from 1.2 to 6 million metric tonnes; meat production from 700,000 to 990,000 metric tons; processed milk production from 630 million to 1 billion litres; and increase annual fish production from 135,100 to 231,359 metric tonnes.

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In addition, the Government has set aside 1.4 billion shillings to increase strategic food reserves to 8 million bags in the medium term.

According to the 2019 Budget Policy Statement, the Government has approved commercialization of genetically modified cotton by availing BT cotton seeds to farmers so as to increase cotton production to be used in the textile industries sector as part of ensuring that the manufacturing pillar of the Big Four Agenda goes according to plan, this is together with boosting leather production by harnessing opportunities in the pastoral areas of the country.

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The Government has also allocated 100,000 acres at the Galana Kulalu Complex and the National Irrigation farm to National Youth Service (NYS) to revive the cotton sector.

In addition, the Government is in the process of improving infrastructure at the Athi River textile hub, Kinanie Leather Park, KIRDI Kisumu, South B Branches, and Rivatex to help revamp the manufacturing sector.



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