Experts back GMOs to curb food shortages

Written By: Ronald Owili
186

KALRO has been carrying out controlled field trials on GMO maize
KBC-survey-feedback-poster

A ban on importation or sell of genetically modified organisms commonly referred to as GMOs by the cabinet in 2012 is weighing down Kenya’s quest to be food secure.

While biotechnology experts back new varieties that are pest and drought resistant to reduce food imports, tight regulations now stand in the way as other countries benefit from data developed by Kenyan scientists.

Also Read  Kenya to participate in the Asia pacific travel exposium

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization’s site in Kiboko, Makueni County is among six installations spread across the country where KALRO has been conducting tests to produce GMO varieties under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa, WETA.

Under the stewardship of Dr. James Karanja, the KALRO site has been developing hybrid maize varieties with transgenic genes.

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

Kenya’s quest to be food secure has been compromised by cyclic long dry spells and pest infestation which the Agriculture ministry projects have wiped out at least 25 percent of the country’s maize production capacity of 52 million bags.

Also Read  Kisii tea farmers protest low bonus, want KTDA officials reduced

With the country frequently facing food shortages, scientists are backing genetically modified maize as a solution.

Also Read  Kisii tea farmers protest low bonus, want KTDA officials reduced

However, for seven years, tight regulations including a cabinet ban on importation of GMOs have limited commercialization.

Because Kenya cannot proceed to national performance trial, experts have been forced to share critical data on GMOs with Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Rwanda.

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

Tell Us What You Think