Scientists in [Kenya] have successfully tested genetically modified maize samples that are resistant to stem borer and are drought tolerant.
The scientist said the maize developed resistance against fall armyworm.
The project, developed under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa, has been tested for two planting seasons in Trans Nzoia and Makueni counties.
The testing entailed inducing a gene from a bacteria known as Bacillus thuringiensis that produces a pesticide that kills the stemborer upon consumption.
However, a ban on importation and use of GM crops that came into force in 2012 will hamper the approval of the corn seed to benefit farmers.
Speaking in Nairobi yesterday, WEMA scientist Murenga Mwimali said a lift on the ban will be a milestone to commercial maize farming as it would improve yield.
Murenga said tests conducted in the new variety proved to increase yield by more than 40 percent, improve the grain quality and reduced negative environmental impact due to reduced use of pesticides.
In Kenya, stemborers lead to the loss of 13 percent maize yield every year, accounting for close to Sh9 billion.
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