Kenya to provide farmers with insect resistant Bt cotton seeds in pilot trials

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A genetically modified cotton seed variety with high resistance to the Boll worm infestation is due to be released to the farmers in Kenya soon.

Director of the Thika based Horticultural Research Institute and lead Researcher Dr Charles Waturu, said the new variety will be released to farmers in dry irrigation areas of the Coastal region for seed breeding purpose.

“This will be a pilot project and once we establish it fully,  farmers in Lamu, Kwale and Kilifi can produce enough seeds, then we will later roll out the project to all other cotton producing counties ,’’  said Dr Waturu.

Already the National Performance Trials of the BT cotton were undertaken at Kimbimbi Research center in 2002 where the plant did so well with bottom to top yields but is yet to go commercial.

The researcher said it was prevalent that the new cotton variety also attracted many bees which came to extract nectar during the flowering stage and in return provide high quality honey to the farmers.

James Riaga from Kisumu County said it was contradicting for the government to import BT cotton from India, China and South Africa to run the Economic Processing Zone (EPZ), at Athi River when the country has such enormous potential to produce the same locally.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: New cotton variety to boost farmer’s income