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Small-scale African farmer calls for Kenya to lift ban on GMOs

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

United States President Barack Obama’s ringing endorsement of biotechnology in agriculture has the potential to inspire hearts and minds in Africa—and perhaps most especially here in Kenya, the birthplace of his father.

In Kenya—the birthplace and burial site of Barack Obama, Sr.—we see the problem of food insecurity. More than 1 million Kenyans go hungry each day, according to recent estimates. The pressure to feed them only will increase. Demographers expect our population to double by 2050.

We aren’t growing enough food right now, and we’re going to have to grow a lot more soon.

President Obama recognizes that the Green Revolution must evolve into the Gene Revolution. Yet many African governments, including mine in Nairobi, do not yet share this view. Kenya’s and Africa’s food-security problems have many sources. Yet one of the most basic solutions is simple: Farmers should be able to use the best crop technology. A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute says that if smallholder farmers in Africa were to gain access to genetically modified crops, they could improve their yields by as much as 29 percent.

The time has come to move forward. Kenya must begin by lifting its political ban on imports of GM food and permit the commercialization of GM crops as supported by science.

Read the full, original article: Kenya Must Lift Ban on GM Imports: Allow Commercialization of GM Crops

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