Scientists are calling on the government to fast track lifting the ban on genetically modified maize in a bid to boost food security.
Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO) has been carrying out controlled field trials on GMO maize over the last 10 years with technology adopted in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda.
The scientists say the trials at KALRO’s Kiboko Center have shown that GMO maize is drought and pest resistant, therefore, will reduce the use of harmful pesticides and increase yields.
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre Country representative Steven Mugo is urging NEMA to approve pending applications on GMO maize for national performance trials saying it will enhance food security.
Mugo says trials on different varieties of GMO maize have shown that the varieties are resistant to pests and diseases and can withstand drought.
In Africa, only South Africa and Sudan have allowed commercialization of GMO crops with Sudan only allowing commercialization of GMO cotton while South Africa GMO maize, soybeans and cotton.