State begins commercialization of BT Cotton in 100 model farms

Written By: Benson Rioba

Agriculture ministry has embarked on commercialization of BT Cotton by establishing 100 demonstration farms across the country following the Cabinet’s approval in December last year.

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Speaking in Busia County, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the government will prioritize counties under the Lake Region Economic Bloc in a bid to spur cotton farming while revival of key industry will provide ready market to farmers.

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Late last year the Cabinet approved the commercialization of BT Cotton in the country with planned kick-off scheduled for this month.

Kenya now joins South Africa, Sudan and Burkina Faso as the only African countries growing commercial quantities of crops from genetically modified seeds.

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Majority of the farms will be set up in the lake region counties which Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya says have favorable weather condition for mass BT Cotton production.

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Agriculture CS Peter Munya

The government is also set to increase its investments in the textile industry by reviving all stalled ginneries in the country.

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County governments have been urged to invest in extension services to help create necessary infrastructure for BT Cotton cultivation.

Currently an estimated 50,000 farmers are growing cotton in Kenya, producing 25,000 bales against a  demand of 200,000 bales of lint with the BT cotton expected to increase production to  an annual average of 260,000 bales.

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