[Kenya’s] leading scientists have written to the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) seeking permission to release the first ever Genetically Modified (GM) maize variety.
“The TELA maize that will be commercialized in Kenya and any other country must go through regulatory and biosafety systems in the target countries. This is to ensure its safety as human food. As with any new technology on the market, consumer education is essential to enlighten the farmers as well as consumers,” said [Gospel Omanya, Senior Manager of Deployment at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation].
Omanya believes the GM maize variety, known worldwide as Bt maize, will help farmers in Kenya increase their yield by reducing damage caused by stem borer insect pests.
According to the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy, Kenyans depend on maize for their daily food and are too often threatened by hunger due to a number of constraints including voracious pests.
Stem borers are known to reduce maize yield by an average of 13 percent or 400,000 tonnes, equivalent to the yearly amount of maize imported by Kenya, amounting to 70 million U.S dollars.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Feature: Kenyan farmers mull large-scale cultivation of genetically modified maize